Single Use project update - the tomatoes that won't die / by Miska Mandic

It's been five months now that I have been shooting three separate timelapse setups for the upcoming Single Use exhibition I am putting on with Blue Mountains artist Kevina-Jo Smith. This means that for 5 straight months I've had up to two cameras continuously taking photos every 5 minutes, as fruit and vegetables have been decomposing in their store bought single use packaging.

I'm really pleased with how it's going and I've finally got a little time to start grading two of the three finished setups.

The third setup, which started on the 9th of February, had largely decomposed by the end of March. This means that the broccoli, potatoes and salad had entirely collapsed and changed colour within two months. However, the fourth character in this gruesome scene of carnage and destruction just won't die. I think you'll be surprised to find out just who the culprit is.

A packet of cherry tomatoes from Parisi's supermarket in Rose Bay.

It's now exactly 4 months since they were bought and arranged in the still life, and to this day their colour remains unchanged. There is a little wrinkling on the skin, but the plumpness also is fairly unchanged.

Tomatoes are not supposed to last this long. If you've ever grown your own you know that once picked, they quickly decompose. As all organic matter should.

There is something seriously alarming about these tomatoes, I have no idea what they're putting in them but evidently something is being done to alter their natural life cycle.

As intrigued (and disgusted) as I am by this strange development, and as much as I want to see it out to the bitter end, it's seriously affecting my ideal timeline for this project. I can't progress to the next stage until this timelapse is concluded. Not sure what I should do, but I think at some point I'm going to have to call it quits on the old Frankenstein toms.

A terrible photo from my phone, hopefully not a reflection of my otherwise generally in-focus photographic skills.

A terrible photo from my phone, hopefully not a reflection of my otherwise generally in-focus photographic skills.