/ Luridi
Zachary Swenson
17 March, 2005

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Night concession truck stands are the midnight oasis of junk food delights from toasted shaved kebabs, overpriced drops of cheaply canned beer, almost crunchy expired chips, grinding-the-teeth sources of water, to french fry sandwiches drenched with slippery mayonnaise and ketchup, stick-to-yer-teeth sweets, and the juicy grilled house specialty wrapped and warmed beneath a dozen layered napkins. These stands, also known as “luridi” in italian (meaning very dirty), are found in the urban cities of italy and open during the deep night from as early as midnight, and serve with a smile until the break of dawn, when they can close their shops and drive away.
The nature of these stands seems to be an urban mirage: They arrive at their post during the bleak hours of the night and unleash a nativity scene amount of light, that seems as if they are divinely prepared for either a miracle or the serving a kebab. But once day breaks, the stands vanish, leaving only the vague traces of used napkins and wrappers as the evidence of their existence. It is as if the urban landscape swallows them into its own banality to let daylight fall on the empty corner, the indistinguishable intersection, the parking lot, or the bare edge of a park.
These truck stands represent everything between the drunken after-clubbing four-AM food crave, the cocaine stained eyes of the raincoated pimp and his limply dressed girls, the flashy kitsch 80’s graphics and décor complimented with the soft neon glows and bright tear-clenching fluorescent lights, the day-to-day entrepreneurial mobility, and the cotton mouthed hangover memory of possibly eating the night before. These truck stands are the melting pot of the nocturnal life. They are drunken, stoned, and high. They are kitsch bombs of light. They are the gypsy vampires of capitalism.
The following photos were taken in the city of Turin, Italy, between 1:00 AM and 5:00 AM.

Zachary Swenson
(United States)


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