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How do you read photography on the pages of a book? What is the link and what is the difference between an artist’s book and a photo book? What relationship is established today between the book as an object and the computer devices that intervene not only in common photographic practice (from reflex cameras to compact cameras to cell phones and smartphones) but also in the design, creation and dissemination of the book itself? These are some of the questions underlying many manifestations and publications that photographers, historians, critics and curators have been discussing more or less directly over the past few years.
For many decades, the book has been the most popular way to put photographs in order (usually miniaturizing them), thus guaranteeing them – photographs are fragile objects that break or get lost easily – if not immortality, longevity and together a wider audience. In a book, photography is obviously the image of an image. But since, from the outset, it is a smooth and printed object, reproduced in a book a photograph loses its essential quality much less than a painting. Yet not even a book is entirely satisfactory when it comes to spreading a series of photographs. The order in which the photographs are to be looked at is proposed by the layout, but nothing obliges readers to follow the chosen sequence nor does it indicate the time necessary to spend on a photograph.
In the history of photography, countless examples of volumes that publish photographs in considerable quantities can be traced by adopting various types depending on the occasion – exhibition catalogs, personal albums, portfolios, promotional books, history and non-fiction – and it can be said that all or almost all great photographers have been involved in printing one or more books of their images, even when the term photobook did not yet exist; but nowadays this modality is acquiring an unprecedented mental dimension and presence, configuring a genre in its own right, structured as a device that works according to a range of different symbolic, narrative and conceptual paradigms, conceived and created in a large variety of materials, editing, dimensions, formats, binding.
144 pages 19,6 x 14,6 cm