When dinner is over... Schmerberg's fascinating DIRTY DISHES examines table manners, eating habits, and consumer patterns all over the world.

Colorful, chaotic, amusing, often decadent or disgusting – the remains of plundered buffets, banquet tables, and barbecues. There is a whole world to discover in these photographs of leftovers from meals, gatherings, parties, and events taken by director and photographer Ralf Schmerberg, who was born 1965 in Stuttgart, in the course of his extensive travels. Oyster shells on silver platters on the Cannes Croisette, ketchup-spotted cardboard french-fry plates in Chemnitz, rice bowls and chopsticks in a Bangkok streetside kitchen take on an unexpected aesthetic charm. As a kind of afterthought, Schmerberg’s modern vanity still lifes illustrate both the rich nuances of diverse eating cultures and the often thoughtless, wasteful ways in which food is treated in consumer societies.

© Hatje Cantz