Alex Thompson’s photographic series, Perish, explores the parasitic relationship between humans and the natural world, revealing ways in which we alter and destroy it to fulfill our corrupt perception of ever-growing needs.
Industrialisation ushered in rapid building and mass production which continues today. We built large scale factories to produce material goods. Homes got wider and taller. Land was deforested. Natural habitats were destroyed. When we deem our creations no longer suitable we abandon them, they sit, elements creep in, and nature claims them.
Pick a road to go down in any Texas town and chances are you will come across an abandoned structure. I scout locations this way, looking for areas that once served a purpose: A giant entertainment complex with a ledger from 1970, the site of a completely demolished historical home, and concrete pieces sitting next to an unfinished highway. Bodies no longer belong in these forgotten places, though they once worked and lived there.
Presented stripped down with only a white cotton sheet to cover them, subjects are exposed and vulnerable, not unlike the way humans come into the world. They are the ones at the mercy of nature’s will and, over time, the white sheet is soiled. Subjects represent no one person or identity, but rather all humans, our desire to conquer, our entitlement to the earth and its contents, and our eventual involuntary relinquishing of power.