Parisi, Mary

Mary Parisi, Pacifica, CA, USA

Food Pictures

Like many I have a complex reaction to the food I eat, and especially food derived from the bodies of animals. Today with growing numbers of vegetarians, the conflicts and difficulties which meat eaters experience are not often expressed. My intention with the food pictures is to look closely at what I eat and while exploring the visual aspects of food to also explore my own complex feelings about eating animals and plants. All the pictures came about either before or after I cooked something and when I saw the possibility for a photograph. In other words, the food came first.

As I child I often ate chicken soup and have always loved this soothing liquid even though I think of it also as the essence of the chicken’s body. My father frequently made chicken soup and I remember at one point he began putting several pairs of chicken feet into the pot along with the chicken.

The sight of the bright yellow feet was horrific for me, a city child, who understood meat as coming from clean packages from the market, stripped of feather, head and blood.  It is the inability to stay in this world of separation that is alarming. I cannot help but see the dead animal on my plate instead of just a pork chop. I don’t mean to advocate for vegetarianism, rather I want to stay, it is a chicken or a pig or the fat rendered from the pig’s body.  And it is delicious and beautiful and horrible.