woensdag 23 januari 2013

Noi amiamo Silvio Alberto Peruzzo Propaganda Erik Kessels / Paul Kooiker Terribly awesome photobooks

The Italianist
I Love Silvio Written by Piero

I discovered today that I love Berlusconi. It’s not that I asked myself “Do I love Berlusconi?” and replied “I do”. No: the revelation came upon discovering a book has just been published, in Italy, whose title is “Noi amiamo Silvio” (We love Silvio).

Probably meant to fill the vacuüm left by the death of JD Salinger, the book can be purchased, from today, in Italy’s “best bookshops”. It looks more or less like this:
The cover explains the book content:
 ”The exclusive photobook with the best pictures, in colour, of the historical events that had as main character our Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi“. Printed by Peruzzo Publishing, a group named after Alberto Peruzzo who, in the book, claims that this is not a book about politics, but about a great friend of his.
The book has not been officially reviewed (but I have already sent a complaint to the New York Review of Books), so I leave comments about its content to later posts. I imagine Silvio must be quite upset about another celebration of his life and career. In fact, Berlusconi had pointed out that he does not want to look like a superior being: rather, he wants to look just like a member of his Party, the Freedom’s People.
That’s why he wanted that the anthem played at the Party conventions, “Meno Male che Silvio C’e'” (“Thank God Silvio Exists“), be changed to a more democratic “Meno male che noi ci siamo” (“Thank God We Exist”). He explained that, after the famous attempt to kill him in December, it was important to bridge the gap between him and the other human beings. But now, they do it again: they are back to celebrating him. Why don’t they stop? Who’s telling them to do it?? Idiots!! Let’s bridge the gap, for Silvio’s sake! I mean, for God’s sake!
Furthermore, this is not the first literary work about Berlusconi. A previous book, in 2006, was titled ”Una Storia Italiana” (“An Italian Story”). On that occasion, the book was even delivered for free to each house in Italy. And the best thing was: you didn’t even have to ask for it! You would get it, willing or not!!
In that book, that celebrated Berlusconi’s life and achievements, a series of moving images of our Prime Minister were made immortal (sorry for the low quality):
The romantic Our Prime Minister
The father Our Prime Minister who does jogging with the son and the dog
Veronica, Our Prime  Minister’s great love (until she asked for divorce).
And that wasn’t the only one!! Even the Americans, last year, wanted to celebrate Silvio’s great achievements by writing his biography! That time, too, the authors had to apologise to our Prime Minister…
Two things are worth mentioning about this still-to-discover little treasure of book. First: we should notice that the three words on the cover, “Noi Amiamo Silvio”, are respectively green, white and red. Incidentally, those are the colours of the Italian flag. That’s why, as an Italian citizen, I feel I am part of this loving proclaim. I love Silvio.
Second: when I looked at the picture of my beloved Silvio, I couldn’t help feeling that I have seen it before: his greatness, his size, his smiling teeth, the people under him.. I had seen that before, though a long long time ago..
I eventually remembered what that picture reminds me of.

Erik Kessels / Paul Kooiker, Terribly awesome photo books 30 x 37 cm 64 pages news paper print edition of 1000 ISBN 9789490800093 
For several years, Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have organized evenings for friends in which they share the strangest photo books in their collections. The books shown are rarely available in regular shops, but are picked up in thrift stores and from antiquaries. The group’s fascination for these pictorial non-fiction books comes from the need to find images that exist on the fringe of regular commercial photo books. It’s only in this area that it’s possible to find images with an uncontrived quality. What’s noticeable from these publications is that there’s a thin line between being terrible and being awesome. This constant tension makes the books interesting. It’s also worth noting that these tomes all fall within certain categories: the medical, instructional, scientific, sex, humour or propaganda. Paul Kooiker and Erik Kessels have made a selection of their finest books from within this questionable new genre.

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