Artist Blog

Every week an artist whose single image was published by Der Greif is given a platform in which to blog about contemporary photography.

Andrea Botto – KA-BOOM

Jan 15, 2015 - Tiago Casanova

Hey guys! I am really glad to have the opportunity to be guest blogging for you all this week! To explain what will be happening these days I must start by telling you a bit about me. I am an architect, passionate about the act of building and creating, but I am also fascinated with the act of destruction. Despite it might seem contradictory, the reality is that one process cannot exist without the other. Physically, mentally or ideologically, by building you will be destroying, and by destroying you will be creating. Walter Benjamin said in his text The destructive character that »destroying rejuvenate«, and it creates emptiness and space where new ideas, concepts and forms can rise. By destroying you will also be changing the course and relationship with the subject, where there will always be a before and an after. My contribution to this blog will be all around multiple interpretations of the Act (And Art) of Destruction. To start I challenged Andrea Botto, a brilliant italian photographer, to share one of his series – KA-BOOM, a project still in progress since 2008. The theme of the »Explosion« is here presented as both a study about the relation between the crowds towards the explosion phenomenon, with both senses of fascination and indifference, but also as a metaphor to the idea of transformation. Botto photographs with a 4x5 inch camera, and although I usually don't care much about technique, in this case it is a crucial factor as only one photograph is taken in each event. What we see on the photographs are the moments just after these controlled blasts, but this moment of transformation emphasizes the nostalgia towards the a priori reality, and the imagination towards the posteriori conception. The explosion is the element that represents destruction, and destruction feeds the faith for change. It is not by chance that Andrea Botto also portrays the crowds that gather on the safety areas to watch the blast as the reactions appear to be highly varied, as Botto says »a metaphor of the destruction of the contemporary world, in front of whom we seem to be only spectator, sometimes indifferent. A sublime spectacle that attracts and repels at the same time; painful, but maybe necessary to rebuild and renew«. Check some more of his works at his website at