Book of the Week Book of the Week: A Pick by Christian Michael Filardo Christian Michael Filardo selects Pizza Hunt by Chloe Cahill and Ho Hai Tran as Book of the Week.
"The first Pizza Hut I ever had the privilege of dining in was in Sedona, Arizona. It was the mid-2000’s and I was eating at the American pizza Mecca to celebrate the end of a mediocre soccer season. It’s important to note that in America, everyone gets a trophy for participating in team-based youth ball sports. Showing up is achievement enough. I recall reading on the menu that Pizza Hut was the first pizza company to deliver a pizza to the International Space Station, wow, the first pizza in space. I haven’t forgotten this fact; it’s embedded in my brain. Much like the huts of yesteryear catalogued in Ho Hai Tran and Chloe Cahill’s aptly named Pizza Hunt my former Pizza Hut has been transformed and is now a boutique pizza palace called Pisa Lisa.
Topographies like Pizza Hunt seem to be a dime a dozen in the photobook world these days. Here is a book of pictures of watches, here is a book of broken cars, here is a book of bubble gum blowers, this book is a bunch of hot dogs, and this book exclusively contains pictures of women holding snakes. However, few of these data-driven books highlight major issues in American culture as subtly as Pizza Hunt does. Begging the question, what happens to the mall once the consumer moves on? What is the hut's purpose when it no longer contains pizza?
Ironically enough, the skeletons of these former Pizza Hut’s have been transformed into everything from funeral parlors to hardware stores. Almost as if the hut shape has become a point of pride, a participation trophy for pizza lovers and small business owners on a global scale. This book is essentially an outrageously fun color version of Mark Ruwedel’s “Message From the Exterior”. Huts are centered in the frame, parking lots are omnipresent, and the pizza is fleeting. Pizza Hunt is an exciting book that broke my nostalgia dam wide open and is absolutely worth checking out — even if it just makes you want a slice." — Christian Michael Filardo
Christian Michael Filardo is a Filipino-American composer and photographer living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He recently had a solo exhibition called Tumbleweed Replica at Current Space in Baltimore, MD and is the current shipping manager at photo-eye bookstore. .
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