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Anja Hitzenberger: Chinese Fast Food

“Take Out” was shot in Beijing’s Olympic Park during a two-month residency in the fall of 2011. This series, shot in a temporary food court set up inside the park, reveals a visually and viscerally overloaded fast-food culture that may make some mouths water and other bellies ache. Hitzenberger concentrates on the saturated visual displays of the food stalls and the way the environment contrasts with the boredom of the workers, offering an insight into some of the contradictions in contemporary Chinese culture. Hitzenberger has effectively captured the flavor of the time.

Food and consumption has interested Hitzenberger for some time. She is inspired by the work of authors Eric Schlosser (“Fast Food Nation”) and Michael Pollan (“In Defense of Food”), who write about eating habits and the way society deals with food.

In addition to exploring food and how it can affect people’s lives, this current series fits in with Hitzenberger’s ongoing project “The Body and Space,” in which she photographs people in architectural surroundings.

Anja Hitzenberger is a photographer, filmmaker and video artist whose work focuses on the body and its relationship to architecture and space. She travels extensively across the globe and her work often features people from around the world. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows, as well as at film festivals and on theater stages throughout Europe, the United States, South America and Asia, and published internationally in magazines and books. She has received numerous grants — among others a Swing Space grant from the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council — and has completed residencies in Rome, Paris, Warsaw and Beijing. She is on the faculty at the International Center of Photography (ICP) in New York, where she teaches personal vision classes. Originally from Salzburg, Austria, she divides her time between New York and Vienna.

“Take-Out” is presented by Michael Steinberg Fine Art, an independent advisory, curatorial and publishing organization The Works published by Steinberg’s MS Editions are in the collections of New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the New York Public Library; the Hood Museum, Dartmouth, New Hampshire; and London’s Tate Gallery and the British Museum. Forthcoming projects will be released under the heading of a newly formed division: Eminence Grise Editions LLC