MAST Foundation presents two exhibitions dedicated to the Swiss photographer Jakob Tuggener (1904–1988), whose work is being shown in Italy for the first time.
Jakob Tuggener show opens the 2016 exhibitions programme organized by the MAST Foundation, which promotes special photographic shows on the theme of industry and labour, employing both images from its own industrial photography collection and works from private collections or often previously unviewed archives.
“Jakob Tuggener is considered one of the ten most significant industrial photographers in the world,” stresses Urs Stahel, director of MAST’s PhotoGallery and co-curator of the exhibition. “His book FABRIK is an important milestone in the history of the photographic book, comparable with Brassaïs’s Paris de nuit (Paris by Night) (1933) and Bill Brandt’s The English at Home (1936).” “His signature is, on the one hand,” Stahel continues, “a penetrating, close-up view of people and objects in the world – so close and attentive that it seems as if he wants to startle them – and on the other hand, his skilful play with light and shadow.”
The exhibition FABRIK 1933–1953 presents, in the MAST PhotoGallery, over 150 original prints of Tuggener’s work, drawn both from his photographic book FABRIK – an essay unique in its kind, with a critical approach of great visual and human impact regarding the relationship between humans and machines – and from other photos by the artist dealing with work in his country.
“Jakob Tuggener (1904–1988) was simultaneously a photographer, a film-maker and a painter,” affirms Martin Gasser, co-curator of the show, “but he saw himself above all as an artist. Influenced by the German Expressionist films of the 1920s, he developed a poetic-artistic style that would become an inspiration for young photographers after the Second World War.
FABRIK was also the launch pad for Tuggener’s reputation as an outstanding photographic artist and led to many notable involvements in exhibitions such as Postwar European Photography (1953) and The Family of Man (1955) at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Prima mostra internazionale biennale di fotografia (First International Photography Biennale) in Venice (1957).” In FABRIK, Tuggener, besides tracing the history of industrialization, had the not always revealed intention to illustrate the destructive potential of indiscriminate technological progress. The outcome of this, in the author’s view, was the war in progress, for which the Swiss armaments industry was manufacturing goods undisturbed.
The NUITS DE BAL 1934–1950 slide shows on Level 0 present images of balls and other social events. Fascinated by the glittering atmosphere of high-society parties, Tuggener had begun to photograph elegant ladies and their silk gowns in Berlin, but it was in Zurich and St. Moritz that, wearing a dinner jacket and with his Leica, he captured the mysterious facets of the NUITS DE BAL. His lens also took in the “invisible labour” of musicians, waiters, cooks, valets and butlers, as they silently moved through the festive and self-referential world of the heedless guests. The latter opposed the publication of Tuggener’s dance-related material, as they wished to remain anonymous and not to be seen engaged in dancing entertainment.
“Above all, the contrast between the brilliantly lit ballroom and the dark factory hall influenced the perception of his artistic oeuvre,” Gasser explains. “Tuggener also positioned himself between these two extremes when he stated: ‘Silk and machines, that’s Tuggener’. In reality, he loved both: the wasteful luxury and the dirty work, the enchanting women and the sweaty labourers. For him, they were both of equal value and he resisted being categorized as a social critic who pitted one world against the other. On the contrary, these contrasts belonged to his conception of life and he relished experiencing the extremes – and the shades of tones in between – to the most intense degree.”
Besides the 150 factory photographs and the projection of his work on balls, MAST is also exhibiting a collection of book maquettes, which Tuggener himself used to make up by hand.
In addition, in order to represent the eclecticism and exceptional nature of this artist, the show has been enriched with SHORT FILMS distinguished by a dynamic directorial style and an editing technique that owes much to the theories of Eisenstein, with shifts from the long shot to the close-up:
PROJECTIONS – Continual
AERIAL MEETING, 1937, 6’
THE PULSE OF NEW TIMES, 1938, 12’
THE MILL ON THE LAKE, 1944, 5’
THE MACHINE ERA, 1938-70, 30’
Curators: Martin Gasser, Urs Stahel
Promoted by: MAST Foundation
In collaboration with: Jakob Tuggener Foundation, Uster, Swiss Foundation for Photography, Winterthur.
MAST stands for MANIFATTURA di ARTI, SPERIMENTAZIONE e TECNOLOGIA (ARTS, EXPERIENCE and TECHNOLOGY).
MANIFATTURA: the industrial identity of the district
ARTI: the highest forms of creative expression
SPERIMENTAZIONE:the practice at the heart of innovation
TECNOLOGIA: the application of techniques that can improve human life
The project was designed by STUDIO LABICS in ROME, which won an invited competition organized by G.D (COESIA group) in 2005, among the most renowned young Italian architecture firms. Two major pedestrian ramps, which extend from the core of the building to the main access, symbolize the close relationship between the Coesia industrial complex and the surrounding city, creating a metaphorical bridge between COESIA, the immediate city surroundings and the adjacent park. The building consists of two sections that stand next to each other, with large windows, glass features, and frames in steel. The original architectural design extends throughout the spaces occupied by the various services. A reflecting pool and landscaped garden complete the design, showing how the transformation of a former industrial space can revive an area on the outskirts, with company and community activities that make it a gathering place.
WHERE NEW INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES AND INDUSTRIAL PHOTOGRAPHY OFFER A CONTEXT FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING ON INNOVATION, ENTREPRENEURSHIP, MECHANICS AND THE WORLD OF WORK
The Gallery is partially modelled on so-called science centres, in which the visitor can try the interactive displays and experience a greater level of involvement.
The space is dedicated to the culture of innovation, with a particular focus on technological innovations in mechanical industry. The aim is to stimulate both curiosity and creativity within the different groups of visitors.
The installation in the Gallery includes the following devices:
- hands-on exhibits (interactive devices and instruments)
- multimedia exhibits
- virtual reality installations (augmented reality)
- teaching labs
The ground floor will mainly host a great interactive game based on entrepreneurship. This will be developed and installed in 2015.
Gallery / target
The Gallery aims to reach out to local communities in order to enhance the perceived value of the mechanical industry. Leveraging on the local identity, MAST Foundation wishes to offer a context where it is possible to share knowledge and experiences and to educate the younger generations through a mix of technology, innovation and art in a dynamic, flexible, committing and engaging environment.
The most interesting target is the Z generation, people born after 1995 and digital fluent.
The Gallery develops close relationships with middle schools, high schools and universities to involve the maximum number of people in the target group. In addition, the exhibition space proposes activities and services of interest to all citizens and families. (...)
WHERE EXCELLENT TRAINING IN MECHANICAL TECHNOLOGIES OFFERS COESIA EMPLOYEES AND STUDENTS OPPORTUNITIES FOR CONTINUAL GROWTH
The Academy offers technical and management training to Coesia employees and organizes workshops and short courses to visitors of MAST and students of different age groups. Programs focus on innovation and entrepreneurship, while the methodology facilitates experience and participation.
With this perspective, the Academy together with MAST Foundation establishes permanent relationships with different departments and schools of the University of Bologna, and other Academic Institutions and Foundations in the field.
The Academy makes large and small classrooms available, equipped with cutting-edge teaching technologies. A classroom for video-conferencing with Cisco's "Telepresence" technology can be rented to outside companies and organizations.
WHERE SCREENINGS OF DOCUMENTARIES, MUSICAL AND ARTISTIC PERFORMANCES, CREATE THE CONDITIONS FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF CREATIVITY
The Auditorium is available to host activities associated with both the Gallery, the Academy and the Coesia Group (conventions, meetings, films) as well as offering various events such as concerts, shows, conferences.
In terms of size (400 seats) and other architectural/technological aspects, the auditorium was designed with features that set it apart from similar locations in Bologna.
With 400 seats, it is the only medium-sized space near the city center.
One of the most important aspects is its acoustic system, which can be adjusted depending on the type of event.
WHERE CULINARY EXPERIMENTATION COMES TOGETHER WITH TECHNOLOGY, SUSTAINABILITY AND MULTICULTURAL INVENTIVENESS
The cafeteria is located beneath the auditorium. It provides services to the Coesia Group for its guests and customers and is open to the visitors of the Gallery on the occasion of events.
Here culinary creativity meets technology, sustainability and cultural diversity in a project that aims to provide users with a convivial meeting place, and at the same time, an experimentation and learning environment.
WHERE TODDLERS TAKE THEIR FIRST STEPS IN SOCIAL LEARNING AND BEGIN TO EXPRESS THEIR IMAGINATION
A significant area of MAST has been dedicated to a unique nursery, built to host the very young children of the Coesia Group employees during office hours. The Day-care was opened in 2012 and can host up to 80 children of Coesia Group employees (85%), and the community (15%).
The project was realized in collaboration with "Reggio Children, an International Center for the Defense and Promotion of the Rights and Potential of All Children". Relying on their wide experience developed during the last three decades, Reggio Children have created a methodology – recognized all over the world – focused on the value of team work and of meaningful relationships between children and their families.
A management company was established, and in collaboration with Reggio Children, the Cadiai Cooperative and the Giannino Stoppani Cooperative, it manages the Day-care, the pedagogical approach and relationships with institutions.
From 2013, to meet a local need, a kindergarten section for three-year-old children was also opened.
INNOVATION AT THE NURSERY
The MAST nursery is based on a pedagogical project that offers children a range of educational and cultural stimuli:
The value of beauty
The architectural choices, the colours and the furnishings are inspired by aesthetic criteria and by the most up-to-date pedagogical studies on the perceptions of young children
A tool of everyday life and modernity, to promote new methods of communication and information exchange between educators and parents
Objects of growth that accompany the development of the child's representation and language
Chosen as the product of a fine artistic and craft culture
English through songs
To learn new sounds through music with a mother tongue teacher
The workshops of colour, nature and music
The workshops are places where children, teachers and families can meet, discover and explore. The first is for painting, the second is for experiencing time as change in plants and fruit – also in relation to an outdoor vegetable garden – and the third is for playing and listening to music.
WHERE THE PRINCIPLES OF MODERN NUTRITION BECOME AN OPPORTUNITY FOR ACTIVE AWARENESS
The canteen (1,000 sqm) provides the opportunity for active awareness of the basic principles of modern nutrition, with the aim of improving lifestyle. It is organized into islands with nutrition labels and the "free-flow" path favours careful food choices.
During the week the canteen serves lunch to Coesia Group employees, while during the weekend, it can be used to host events.
WHERE THE INNOVATION OF TECHNOLOGY FOR PHYSICAL ACTIVITY MESHES WITH THE DEVELOPMENT OF SUSTAINABLE LIFESTYLES
The Wellness Center, which is supplied and managed by Technogym (world leader in fitness equipment), offers a variety of services based on a model of intergrated and holistic well-being and will also be running dedicated programs for the community.
The Company Restaurant and Wellness Center were designed as part of a unified project where nutrition and physical activity are salient features of the Mast identity. One of the driving values that inspires the project is the promotion of an idea of health connected to awareness, information, and a nutritional culture related to health and well-being in order to improve the quality of life.