Illness can loom heavy and large, arriving slowly, infiltrating our lives and penetrating our every step. Or it can arrive abrupt and cold – a quick flash and it’s here, clutching us closely. Todd Haynes’ film Safe (1995) arrived quietly but left a haunting impression. One of its concluding shots shows Julianne Moore cautiously walking across a desert landscape in a white protective suit. Strangely calming yet also terrifying, the movie follows Moore’s character as her body slowly rebelled against the chemically laced world that surrounds us, interrupting her peaceful suburban life and driving her to the desert, far from her life and family. A literal and allegorical nightmare, the movie was hard to shake. Close to twenty-years later, Haynes’ prescient movie is a startling warning about our chemical world. The pure products of American are not only crazy, but they’ve caused our bodies to riot. Most of us may be inured to the toxic web that surrounds us, but many are far from immune.
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.