Photographs by Tim Davis.
punctum, 2013. 100 pp., color illustrations throughout, 8¼x10".
Signed copies available!
On the very first day I ever spent photographing in Rome — a white-hot September in 2007— my assistant took me to Testaccio to show me the old slaughterhouse. It was largely abandoned, peopled by squatters and grinning dogs, and starting to succumb to gentrification, but it wasn’t hard to imagine the viscera flowing through the gutters and the wailing and lowing of livestock. This assistant, a clever musician and chef, told me how Roman cuisine is described as “Quinto Quarto,” named for the food made by stockyard workers who took the unwanted parts of the animals home to their families. As a starry-eyed American living in a European capital for the first time I was touched by the humility of this description, reminding me that this was a city with working people stumbling through its glamorous historical strata. I was also struck by how relevant “Quinto Quarto” felt to my photographic practice, which has always been driven by a strong desire to look through accepted cultural iconographies and to see what I’m not supposed to see. (…)
Quinto Quarto is a new paradigm for me as an artist: a series of pieces rather than a BODY OF WORK, that has allowed me to play and provoke in ways I haven’t always been able to as a photographer. I am grateful for the opportunity. Tim Davis