LITTLE BROWN MUSHROOM BLOG

Italian treasure

Posted in narrative photography, Photobooks (general) by Alec Soth on February 7, 2010

I’m back from the Italian leg of the Little Brown Mushroom World Tour (next stop: Lincoln, Nebraska). I was hoping to track down some vintage fotoromanzi, but didn’t have enough time. Nonetheless, I still picked up a couple of treasures. I spent most of my time in Milan with the curator Francesco Zanot. Francesco is a raving book nut and, at only thirty years of age, one of the most knowledgeable and exciting photo curators I’ve met. Francesco gave me a copy of Vedove/Widows, a book he recently produced with Takashi Homma (more info here).

At a signing at the excellent Mi Camera Bookstore, I’m embarrassed to report that I bought more books than I signed. After some frantic browsing of the shelves, I discovered the flat files behind the front counter where they keep the little vintage books and ephemera. Treasure trove!

Followers of this blog know that I have a keen interest in narrative photo books. In the flat files I found a truly stellar example by Franco Vaccari. I’ve been curious about Vaccari since picking up a survey of his work, Exhibitions in Real Time, last year. Vaccari is a conceptual photographer that Francesco Zanot accurately described as ‘the Italian Baldessari.’ But what I love about the book I found in the flat file is that it isn’t a conceptual or performance exercise. This sweet, staple-bound booklet, Viaggio sul Reno, Settembre 1974, is nothing more than a travelog. But the text is funny, lyrical and works with the images extraordinarily well:

See the whole book here.

5 Responses

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  1. little round muskrat said, on February 7, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Franco Rocks !

  2. bob black said, on February 7, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    sweeeeeeeeeeeet!!!!….

    was never jealous of u Alec, until LittlebrownMushroom began…and then i discovered your damn book collection….and how much/many books u get to pick up…..your magical and nimble book collecting fingers just kill me…:)

    i got to tootle u vigorously for this brilliant findπŸ™‚

    damn you!πŸ˜‰

    b

  3. JR said, on February 7, 2010 at 10:49 pm

    When’s the Lincoln thing and what’s on the itinerary?

    JR
    Lawrence KS

  4. LBM said, on February 7, 2010 at 10:53 pm

    Here you go JR:

    http://events.unl.edu/art/2010/02/08/43869/

  5. Doug Stockdale said, on March 3, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Thanks for the pointer to MiCamera, which I just linked up on the resource page of The PhotoBook. and I happen to be spending a lot of time now in Roma, not Milano, dang! Hope to get up that way this September….meanwhile, made a nice connection in Roma with Marco Delogu, publisher of Punctum Press. nice.


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