image source: edition fink


26 illustrations in colour, thread stitching, paper binding

Publisher Note

The illustrated book “Carpaccio” collects colour photographs from Rome, which provide insights with a neutral, precise view. They do not show the shiny surface of the city but its indeterminable depth.
What Rolf Graf tracks down are those apparent trivialities that decisively determine our perception of urban space: Sheet metal, wooden and glass walls, floors, huts, houses and barracks, scaffolding and so on. In depicting these temporary architectures and coincidental constellations, he is concerned with the materialities and colourfulness, with the space-determining volume constellations. With his photographs, Graf creates a kind of alternative archaeology by showing the city as a construction site and thus visually opening up its depth.
In this sense, “Carpaccio” documents installations in public exterior and interior spaces, whereby the real functionality of the depicted constellations in the context of the illustrated book becomes artificial – or even museum-like – in a kind of exaggeration. For in most of the pictures it is initially unclear whether an installation was conceived and built in a technically practicable or in an artistic manner that was alienated from its intended purpose. The photographs lend the city’s abysses a neutral glow that leaves the viewer unsettled for a long time.
When browsing through the photographs in Rolf Graf’s book, they combine to form a grand narrative along a subjective history of the city. Complex - like the city itself - history, present and future are interwoven in the pictures. In this way, the photographs develop a great potential for association – beyond the function of pure depiction as a record of what is seen – and seduce the viewer to think along with and further this history.

Artists’ Book


by Rolf Graf

Release Place Zurich, Switzerland
Release Date 2002
Artist: Rolf Graf
Printrun 500
ISBN-13: 978-3-906086-46-0
Format Hardcover
Dimensions 25.0 × 19.5 cm
Pages 56
Technique Offset Printing