Until August 28, 2022 the MAST Foundation of Bologna hosts The MAST Collection, the first photographic exhibition dedicated to industrial culture, work and technology. The three main themes, told in different, complementary and contrasting ways in a 500 works collection, are also accompanied by the story of photography as a narrative medium and its evolution over the last 200 years.
The MAST Collection - A Visual Alphabet of lndustry, Work and Technology is a systemic exhibition organized in 53 chapters, which correspond to as many conceptual islands, that deal with the world of work and industry in a sort of orderly (but complex and extensive) reportage alphabetical, from the A of Abandoned to the W of Waste, Water, Wealth .
A very large selection
The MAST Foundation is the only reference center in the world of photography, industry and work, just think its archive is made up of over 6000 images and signed videos artists from all over the world. For this occasion, a very special moment since it is the Foundation's first 'self-celebrating' exhibition, a careful selection and identification of the works was carried out on a value-based basis and through a precise methodological approach.
The images, including videos, photographs and albums, are 500 and the interesting aspect lies in the fact that they are signed as much by famous masters of the lens as by artists anonymous who have left a real testimony with their work.
Horizontal is beautiful
To explore such a broad topic as that of the history of the culture of work, industry and technology, it is in fact unthinkable to make only one or a few elite shots available. Collecting a number of works from the looks and experiences of different artists can give back a real and objective, multifaceted and not limited impression of what the world of work in the last 200 years.
"The alphabet was created to bring together intersections between the distant and the near gaze, texts and moments of the shot, bringing attention to the interior of the works - explains the curator, Urs Stahel -. The same it happens with the images and the photographers involved".
The role of the goal
"The parallelism between industry, photographic medium and modernity - says Urs Stahel - sometimes produces an effect that can be disorienting. Photography is the daughter of industrialization and at the same time represents its visual document. more incisive, blending memory and comment".
In the exhibition The MAST Collection - A Visual Alphabet of lndustry, Work and Technology the photographic tool is in fact honored, which documents clearly and at the same time is intertwined with the most authentic artistic expression. The MAST Foundation tells of its progress, just as it does for the world of industry: "The ancient processes of development and printing on different types of photographic paper, such as prints by albumin, are confronted with the latest in digital and inkjet printing; images dominated by the deepest black and white are flanked by visual representations in bright colors. The dark landscapes characteristic of heavy industry contrast with the glittering systems high - tech, hard manual labor and craftsmanship find their counterpoint in the digital universes" concludes Stahel.
The technology that cannot be missing
The exhibition traces the years of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth and the appeal cannot be lacking in technology, a great protagonist of recent and contemporary evolutions. Within the conceptual chapters the progress and the analogical effort are illustrated, always creating a parallelism between the industrial sector and that of photography, in a path that reaches, today, ultra-light digital devices, in perennial connection, capable of documenting , print and share the world in digital images and 3D prints.
Among the artists on display in the three dedicated exhibition spaces (PhotoGallery, Foyer and Level O): Paola Agosti, Richard Avedon, Gabriele Basilico, Gianni Berengo Gardin, Margaret Bourke-White, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Thomas Demand, Robert Doisneau, Walker Evans, Luigi Ghirri, Mario Giacomelli, Mimmo Jodice, André Kertesz, Josef Koudelka, Dorotohea Lange, Erich Lessing, Herbert List, David Lynch, Don McCullin, Nino Miglior, Tina Modotti, Ugo Mulas, Vik Muniz, Walter Niedermayr, Helga Paris, Thomas Ruff, Sebastiao Salgado, August Sanders, W. Eugene Smith, Edward Steichen, Thomas Struth, Carlo Valsecchi, Edward Weston.
The exhibition "The MAST Collection - A Visual Alphabet on lndustry, Work and Technology" is open to all, from Tuesday to Sunday, from 10.00 to 19.00, until May 22, 2022 at the Foundation MAST in Bologna.