artist's book

artist’s book project, 2010

year of publication: 2014 (first edition, May; extra edition, November)
publisher: Danilo Montanari, Ravenna
supported by: Podbielski Contemporary, Berlin

first edition (blue-grey cover): 250 copies numbered and signed __ SOLD OUT
extra edition (light grey cover): 150 copies numbered and signed __

80 pages (183 b/w pictures) + 24 color plates (various sizes)
18×27 cm 
hand-bound with the author 
clothbound hardcover with color inserts and elastic

Paris Photo – Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards 2014, shortlisted
Les Rencotres d’Arles Author’s Book Award 2014, top ten shortlisted
Premio Ponchielli 2014 “Best book of the year”
FotoBookFestival Dummy Award 2012, 3rd Prize

public collections:
Centre Pompidou / Bibliothèque Kandinsky, Paris
Institut national d’histoire de l’art /Collections Jacques Doucet, Paris
Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, München
Sächsische Landesbibliothek – Staats- und Universitätsbibliothek, Dresden
Museum of Fine Arts / Hirsh
Library, Huston USA
University Library, Cambridge USA
Yale University Library / Haas Arts Special Collections, New Haven USA
Princeton University Library, Princeton USA
Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles USA

This book was created in memory of the return journey from the nazi prisoner-of-war camps, made by my grandfather, from June 19th to the August 26th, 1945, vertically trough the Europe from northen Germany to Tuscany and it is dedicated to all those who shared with him this terrible experience.

The images were collected on the internet in July/August 2010, by typing the names of the cities along the journey and the year, for ex. “Hannover 1945”, saving the title of the original files, listed at the end of the book. The facsimile color documents, handmade bonded one by one after an artificial aging process, are drawn from a small notebook belonged to my grandfather, from his passport and from the letters sent and received by his family during the imprisonment.

My grandfather, Primo Benedetti, died on January 27, 2010, the Memorial Day.

“The project reflects upon the subject of memory and the use of images in contemporary society, confronting the virtual relationship with faraway places with the physical intimacy of documents found in the grandfather’s notebook. Silently recalling an individual drama, Botto brings us to reflect upon the pain and brutality of history and to consider the narrative potential of images.”
Ilaria Bonacossa, Museo di Villa Croce, Genova
Benaki Museum, Athens 2015 (curated by Mauro Bedoni)
Museo di Villa Croce, Genova 2015 (curated by Ilaria Bonacossa)

Museo di Villa Croce, Genova, 2015
Museo di Villa Croce, Genova, 2015
“A memory palace astutely built from the flotsam and jetsam of the Internet image archive.”
Lesley Martin, Aperture Foundation