The MAST Foundation presents the first solo exhibition in Italy of Dayanita Singh, one of the most relevant figures in contemporary photography.
Born in Delhi in 1961, Dayanita Singh is an acknowledged protagonist of the international art scene and one of the rare Indian photographers who is known all over the world. She is the author of a very peculiar set of works that reflect an extraordinarily personal vision of her country although it explores themes that transcend geographical borders.
The artist has developed a very original form of displaying her photographs. Using a series of interior design components made of wood—folding screens, carts and tables—she assembles what she herself calls “museums.” These are mobile, portable structures that allow her to lend new configurations and new meanings to her works.
The exhibition organised at the MAST Foundation and conceived by its PhotoGallery curator, Urs Stahel, takes its name from the Museum of Machines, a recent acquisition of the MAST Collection. It proposes about 400 photographs organised in series—in addition to Museum of Machines, there are also Museum of Industrial Kitchen, Office Museum, Museum of Printing Press, Museum of Men and File Museum, together with a few other works—that tell stories about labour and production; life, its daily management and its archiving. Enormous machines that smoke and steam, working methods and processes, spaces for the execution and organisation of work are presented in a near labyrinthine fashion thanks to the articulate and original display mode. The photographs not only depict production environments, but also create psychological scenarios in which we recognise experiences, suffering and hope.
At level 0 of the MAST PhotoGallery Dayanita Singh presents the book Museum of Chance, consisting of a body of 88 photographs that are also used as images for 44 different covers. Each cover is illustrated on the front and back with two randomly-paired photographs. The 44 volumes thus become an exhibition piece, a distinct, unique work of art that together with the suitcase and the display structure form the installation Suitcase Museum.
The exhibition also includes with Archives and Factories, two projections of other images by Dayanita Singh, and with the installation of the book Museum of Chance.
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.