Tuesday, October 11, 2011

After Market

I like markets after they're closed and workers with lorries are clearing away the debris. There's a sense of open space and very often an opportunity for a dramatic photograph. This is in Turin and L'Antica Tettoia dell' Orologio market is indeed very old. These days, vendors are predominantly Moroccan and you can get any old thing here - it's quite a recycling effort that goes on naturally. It occurred to me that a market is always a social space, even when its cleared away. People will drift across the space on their evening walks and no doubt children on bicycles will zoom around in the evening. It is the complete antithesis of a shopping mall where everything is under control and the whole place can simply be shuttered at the press of a few buttons. Young people who tend to hang around shopping malls are drawn to what sociologists call "centres of consumption". The problem for corporate malls is that youngsters don't necessarily come to buy. It's more that they like to be in the midst of things that are happening - where the action is. They associate themselves with the values of the mall but even so, they tend to be moved on by security, because they don't always buy very much. Unlike modern shopping centres, an old fashioned market has irregular boundaries and temporary structures. Produce is arranged to be examined, rummaged through and even in these modern times - bargained for. I know which kind of market I prefer.