American, b. 1963
Denali Denial, 2006, archival inkjet print, 60 x 75 in. (152.4 x 190.5 cm)
Depicts 24,000 logos from the GMC Yukon Denali, equal to six weeks of sales of that model SUV in 2004.
Mount McKinley and Wonder Lake inspired Chris Jordan to create Denali Denial. He digitally transforms Ansel Adams’s image by incorporating thousands of GMC Yukon Denali logos to visualize six weeks of sales of that model SUV in 2004. Half of the logos have been changed to the word “denial.” The irony of a pristine peak being the source of the name of a gas-guzzling vehicle becomes magnified by Jordan’s reinterpretation of Adams’s iconic image of wilderness.
This photograph belongs to a series by Jordan titled Running the Numbers: An American Self-Portrait (2006–9), which was based on statistical research gathered by the artist to comment on America’s destructive consumptive behavior. While photographing garbage landfills, Jordan was astonished at the sheer bulk of their contents. This led him to photograph single objects and then digitally repeat them en masse. These artworks help people visualize the magnitude of environmental statistics as it relates to our reliance on nonbiodegradable goods and contribution to climate change.