Photo / Industry. Biennial of photography of industry and work

San Petronio BolognaWe like Bologna because it does not impose fixed routes, but recommends we let ourselves go among the streets, under the porticos, to find ourselves inside the markets with some pleasant breaks between coffee bars and bistros, from the historical ones of the early twentieth century, to the myths of the international pastry shops up to the most modern, faithful to the belief of the speciality coffee where you are promised that breakfast is a serious matter. And it was on one of those Saturdays when you feel you deserve your beautiful city, strolling around without an umbrella (it’s not the title of a song.), we locate on a map the places scattered around the city where the  MAST Foundation promotes, organizes and produces since 2013, “Photo / Industry“, the first Biennial in the world devoted to work.  Industry and Work!? Not only are we interested, but they are also our daily passion! 🙂


Catalogo Foto/IndustriaThe Photo / Industry 2017 catalogue published by the MAST© foundation

So we venture curiously, armed with mobile phones to take (strictly) amateur photographs as if on a treasure hunt, and we discover that indeed of treasures it is: we refer to the photos of 14 of the most important photographers in the world. The idea of observing through the lens of photographers, who in virtue of their fame have enjoyed great freedom of action, especially where possibilities of access are limited, excites us. Among them, Marten Lange with the two series Machina and Mechanism, among microscopy, nanotechnology and urban architectures, from the technical and from the mechanical, he arrives to the poetry until he reaches metaphysical scenarios and science fiction.

Without Title (07-8-18-3), from the series “MACHINA” 2007 – Mårten Lange©

We are also impressed with the collection of the most beautiful photos of Josef Koudelka‘s industrial landscapes, which in their powerful solemnity investigate the overwhelming transformation of the reality caused by the industrial revolution.

Industrial Landscapes by Josef Koudelka at the Archaeological Civic Museum.

We continue always more curious this time of the photo series by John Myers which portrays that region of England which is called the Black Country, known as the workshop of the world, where the heavy steel mills leave their place to modern shopping malls. In this case as well as that of Yukichi Watabe, the photographer, much against his will, becomes a journalist or even a detective and, driven by an ethical conscience, also builds dossiers of great interest for those who are usually not invited to see.

From the Series “Diary of an Investigation” by Yukichi Watabe©. Photo reportage of a murder investigation.

But perhaps the exhibition that struck us most is the one enclosed in the beautiful structure, venue of the Mast, just outside the walls; extraordinary, the structure, not only for aesthetic taste and elegant architecture, but also for the excellent interior layout that allows the valorisation that those works deserve, thanks also to the effective lighting system.

From the “Machines” series, at the MAST Foundation – Thomas Ruff ©

Here we seem to hear a powerful chorus of voices talking about machines and energy in front of the series of photographs by Thomas Ruff, entitled Machines: Very large photos, some of which are at low resolution where the pixels reveal to be blown up creating an even more powerful scenario. From all these photos emerge technologies, mechanics, entrepreneurial spirit, work production, values that are always particular to the territory of Bologna and we share in our daily commitment with all those who work with us and who contribute to our growth every day.

#01006 Crespellano, Bologna, IT, 2016 | at the Ex Bastardini Hospital – Carlo Valsecchi ©

At the end of the journey we have confirmed the idea that the machines for work and in the work, gears, antique or modern industrial scenes know they are beautiful. If viewed and portrayed by an expert eye, they seem to pose with patience, sometimes powerful and heavy, other times more subtle and sophisticated but always full of sense and authority. We have also learned that, as has been noted by foreign visitors ratings, gathered by a survey of the municipality a few years ago, Bologna that hosted Photo/Industry, truly is “a real and authentic city”.

A combination between “destination and destiny” as our passion that vision has become a concrete reality in the values that accompany us.