The Unwanted • Thilde Jensen signed
LENA publications, 2019, Hardbound, 216 pages with 120 images
The Unwanted is an unnerving portrayal of life at the very bottom in America, bringing the viewer into the sad and often maddening experience of being homeless in the streets of America.
'Growing up nurtured by the humanitarian values of Denmark's social democracy I have long been concerned about the social cost of the American capitalist system valuing profit over human welfare. Homelessness to me represents one very tangible consequence of the growing divide between the rich and poor'. - Thilde Jensen
Here is a longer book description with some excerpt from Gerry Badger's text:
The Unwanted is an unnerving account of life at the very bottom, bringing the viewer into the sad and often maddening experience of being homeless in the streets of America.
Thilde Jensen began the work that led to The Unwanted when in 2014, she met Reine and Lost, two homeless men in Syracuse, New York. Reine and Lost had survived three Upstate New York winters, huddled together on a small concrete ledge up under the highway. This almost unimaginable fact for most of us, drew her into a four-year project, photographing in Gallup, New Mexico, Las Vegas, and New Orleans as well as Syracuse.
Jensen, herself spent two years living out of a tent in the woods after becoming sick with Environmental Illness, the subject of her first book, ‘The Canaries’.
Now spending many months on the road, living out of her car she set out to create an authentic portrayal of what it means to be homeless in America.
”Knowing through my own struggles the pain and loneliness of being excluded from society, feeling invisible and unwanted, it is my hope that this book will help shed some light into the shadows of our society.” - Thilde Jensen
“This is art depicting the world and society in an unfiltered state, as Thilde Jensen promised when she began this project. With compassion, without sentimentality, without exaggeration. Like Dorothea Lange before her, she has used her camera to probe, laying bare the psychological state of her sitters, revealing what it feels like to be homeless. Whatever the reason that brought them to the streets, she has shown clearly that it is damaging to be without a home, and continually seeing their fellow citizens walk on by - or worse.”
“Jensen’s photographs of the homeless display both warm empathy and almost cold dispassion, both dazzling clarity and absolute mystery in a kind of miraculous suspension.” - Gerry Badger from The Unwanted
I have attached an artist statement as well and you are welcome to cut and paste as you see fit.
Thilde Jensen was born in Denmark and moved to New York City in 1997. Six years later her life and career as a documentary and editorial photographer was cut short by a sudden development of severe Environmental Illness. The struggle to survive took Jensen into a hyper-sensitive world that she never knew existed, to capture the harsh realities of those afflicted like her.
Thilde Jensen's first monograph The Canaries about Environmental Illness was published in 2013 and has since received international acclaim. The Canaries book is in many collections, including MoMA and SFMOMA.
Her work has been featured in The New York Times, FT Magazine (UK), Il manifesto (Italy), De Standaard (Belgium), Esquire Russia, Wired.com, Vision Magazine (China), Business Insider, Slate.com and selected for Slate.com's Best Photography Shows of 2012.
Thilde Jensen is a NYFA Fellowship and Light Work Grant recipient. In 2017 she received a Guggenheim Fellowship for the completion of The Unwanted project.