In December 1969 and January 1970 Pistoletto wrote The Minus Man, the Unbearable Side [L'uomo nero, il lato insopportabile], a reflection on the activity conducted by The Zoo. The essay was written in exactly a month, at one go, on the 365 pages of a diary. The book took its name from The Minus Man, a game that was staged by The Zoo in Corniglia, in the summer of 1969, and that reappeared in The Minus Man’s Office, an installation first presented in Bologna in 1970. The Minus Man is for Pistoletto the symbol of being alone, of uniqueness in the great game of the double, and of the void understood as the container of all things.
Originally published by Marcello Rumma in Salerno in 1970 under the title L’uomo nero, il lato insopportabile, the text is available today in a bilingual edition of an anthology of Pistoletto’s writings from 1962 to 1988, Un artista in meno/A Minus Artist (Florence: Hopefulmonster, 1989). The French edition (L’homme noir, le coté insupportable; Paris: École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts) was published in 1988 and the German one (Der schwarze Mann. Die unerträgliche Seite; Vienna: Pakesch & Schlebrügge,), in 1997.
In September 1971 his twin daughters, Armona and Pietra, were born. Both would be involved in their father’s artistic activity over the following decades.
In 1972 Pistoletto and his family went to live in a house/studio in the mountains, at Sansicario in Val di Susa, in the winter sports area of the Via Lattea, which would remain their main home until the end of the seventies.