Exhibition / Anish Kapoor

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Proiezione / Ma l'amore c'entra?

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SCREENING / Rosignano Solvay

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TALK / Broomberg&Chanarin

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WORKSHOP / La Repubblica delle Idee

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talks / work in motion

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MAST Foundation presents the exhibitions dedicated to work and the landscape in Emilia-Romagna, featuring over 200 images and thirty five books on the environments, situations, and contexts found in the Emilia region.

The themes of the exhibitions are enhanced by the documentary Le radici dei sogni – L’Emilia-Romagna tra cinema e paesaggio (The Roots of Dreams – Emilia-Romagna between Cinema and Landscape).


In A Tile, Some Milk, a Machine and Logistics – Photographs of Emilia Romagna at Work, curated by Urs Stahel, works by major photographers reflect on developments in the economy and landscape that have affected the Emilia-Romagna region in recent decades.

The MAST exhibitions develop the theme of Via Emilia which is the main topic of the XI edition of Fotografia Europea 2016 but addressing it to the photographic representation of work, industry and economy, in line with the main mission of MAST Foundation.

The exhibition aims to weave a storyline organised into groups of contrasting photographs. “The task of these images,” explains Urs Stahel, “is to show us how old industries disappear, replaced by new factories and production systems with cutting-edge technology, and how a traditional landscape and an ancient land contrast with the new areas devoted to advanced service industries, to trade, technology, and speed, and how similar phenomena are reflected not only in the machine and ceramics industries, but also in those of food production and small business.”


The photographers' work, along with scenes from the film Il deserto rosso (Red Desert, 1964) by Michelangelo Antonioni, craft a tale that faithfully represents the economic evolution of Emilia Romagna and the ongoing transformation of the manufacturing industry.

We begin with the classic portrait of a worker from Bologna taken by Enrico Pasquali, followed by images of equipment and tools produced by the Officine Minganti in the mid-20th century, and abandoned packaging machines photographed by Gabriele Basilico in a Bologna factory while it was being taken down and reconverted. William Guerrieri shows the abandonment of an industrial dairy in San Faustino, near Rubiera, in his project Dairy; photographs by Paola De Pietri depict the traditional process of ceramic production, while large-format images by Carlo Valsecchi reveal industries at the cutting edge of technology.  The change brought on by increased speed on roadways and new railway lines appears in the photographs of Tim Davis, John Gossage, Walter Niedermayr, and Bas Princen showing the construction of the TAV, the high-speed railway line connecting Turin to Naples; these contrast with the idyllic images of the Po delta by Marco Zanta. The landscapes of Guido Guidi, whose small-format colour photographs, dense with meaning, are scattered throughout the exhibition like a leitmotiv, narrate the changes that have taken place in the man-made environment of Emilia Romagna, along with Olivo Barbieri's photographs of Cavriago and the queues at the tills of its shopping centres, visually representing the gradual metamorphosis that the town has undergone. The video La Via Emilia è un aeroporto (Via Emilia is an Airport) by Franco Vaccari  presents the major road that cuts across the region as both an important thoroughfare and a workplace for sex workers. Economic development is paired with political debate in the video of Lewis Baltz and in the photographic reporting of Simone Donati, who has documented Italian collective rituals in his work. The exhibition also includes videos by Tim Davis and William Guerrieri.

As a side event, the documentary Le radici dei sogni – L’Emilia-Romagna tra cinema e paesaggio (The Roots of Dreams – Emilia-Romagna between Cinema and Landscape, 73 min.) will be shown in a continuous loop on Level 0. The film, made by Francesca Zerbetto and Dario Zanasi in 2015 and produced by the Cineteca di Bologna and MaxMan Coop with the support of the Emilia-Romagna Regional Authority and the Fondazione del Monte di Bologna e Ravenna, presents a journey through the region's landscape, where some of the most important directors in Italian and international cinema have set their films.

In addition, a display of 35 books on the environments, situations, and contexts of Emilia Romagna, made available by Linea di Confine, completes the exhibition.


Exhibition curator: Urs Stahel


MAST Foundation is partner of Fotografia Europea 2016 –  Reggio Emilia.

We thank the Cineteca di Bologna and Linea di Confine, Rubiera for their collaboration.





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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, curator 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:

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.


Kids workshop

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2 MARCH 2016, 6.30 PM

WORK AND THE MYTH OF personal fulfilment
30 MARCH 2016, 6.30 PM

13 APRIL 2016, 6.30 PM


Free entry until full capacity. Registration is mandatory.


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On the occasion of the Jakob Tuggener exhibitions the MAST Foundation is glad to invite to the conference

Henri Cartier-Bresson and Jakob Tuggener. Two masters of 20th century photography.

Narrated by

Agnès Sire – Cartier-Bresson’s “decisive moment”, a trap or a revelation?

Martin Gasser – Jakob Tuggener’s Fabrik of 1943: montage and meaning

Conversation with Urs Stahel, MAST PhotoGallery curator


Agnes Sire, director of the Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation, and Martin Gasser, curator of the Swiss Foundation for Photography, will present the two great photographers of the 20th century who directed their glance at crucial moments of our history. They will converse with Urs Stahel, curator of the MAST PhotoGallery.    

Parking will be available by reservation in the MAST parking lot with entrance from Via Vittoria in front of number 18, subject to availability of parking spots.

Participation is free. Registration is mandatory.


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The MAST Foundation, in collaboration with the Spazio Damiani, is organizing a conference with ANDREW MOORE. Moore will be presenting photographs of abandoned factories in Detroit taken in 2008-2009, and those same factories recently restored, as well as some works from recent years. The title DETROIT DISASSEMBLED REVISITED comes from the book published by Damiani in 2010, “Detroit Disassembled”.

Andrew Moore is an American photographer and director. The general public knows him best for his large format photographs taken in Detroit, Cuba and Russia. He employs the formal language of architecture and landscape photography to document issues of social change. In the book “Detroit Disassembled”, the American photographer has portrayed the city’s profound state of crisis at the end of the 2000s, and “we can say that Detroit has become the American version of an open city. It was left to the mercy of hooligans, vandals and forces of nature. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of empty buildings, factories, libraries, hospitals, schools, churches, all abandoned and mostly unattended.” Beginning with his famous project on Detroit, Andrew Moore will give the MAST public a solid narrative, through new photographs, of the decline of what was once the American automobile industry capital, and its recent renaissance.

Parking will be available in the MAST parking lot with entrance from Via Vittoria in front of number 18, subject to availability of parking spots.

Participation is free. Registration is mandatory.

After the conference at MAST the evening continues at Spazio Damiani with the opening of the exhibition DIRT MERIDIAN, Andrew Moore’s latest photographic work on the landscapes of the 100th meridian, the longitude that neatly bisects the United States between the fertile green East and dry brown West.

Spazio Damiani
Via dello Scalo, 3/2
From 7.00 PM


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On the occasion of the Jakob Tuggener exhibitions the MAST Foundation is glad to invite to the conference



Jorge Ribalta (Barcelona, 1963) is known to our visitors thanks to the images taken in the metallurgic factory in Can Ricart which were on show at MAST in 2014 in the exhibition Human Capital in Industry and later published in the volume Masterworks of industrial photography – Exhibitions 2013-2014 MAST Foundation.
The catalan artist, who is also an important curator and critic, will present the worker photography movement.
Along side the seminal exhibition Hard, Merciless Light. The Worker Photography Movement, 1926-1939 which Ribalta curated 2011 at the Reina Sofia in Madrid he will examine the period of the 20th century in which photography joined forces with various worker movements (ranging from trade unions to the creation of “workers' states” like the Soviet one), motivated by growing working-class consciousness and the idea of taking over the means of production and reproduction of images.

At the end of the conference, there will be a guided visit to the Jakob Tuggener exhibitions with the curator Urs Stahel in the MAST.Gallery.


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GD4PhotoArt is a biennial selection of young photographers that aims to document and support image research activities related to industry, the transformations it can effect on society and on the environment and the role of human labour in economic and productive development.
Created in 2007, since 2013 the GD4PhotoArt competition has become part of a far greater project which is being developed within the context of MAST (Arts, Experience and Technology), the innovative multifunction complex adjacent to the historic G.D plant and the headquarters of the Coesia Group in Bologna that offers a range of services to company employees and to the local community. The activities promoted by MAST are coordinated by a non-profit institution, the MAST Foundation, which has been organising the competition together with G.D starting from 2013.
Since 2007, the GD4PhotoArt contest has contributed towards creating a photography collection of young contemporary artists which is part of a more complex and historically-based collection of images on industry and labour.
All activities connected with the collection are now headquartered in a space dedicated to this topic within the MAST Gallery, where exhibitions are set up throughout the year. Within this specific and original project, the competition encourages young photographers who wish to explore modern society. In this context, MAST Foundation also promotes Foto/Industria, the first biennial in the world dedicated to industrial photography, under the artistic direction of François Hébel.
In the last two or three decades, industry in Europe has undergone a huge change. It has taken hold of companies, society as a whole and every individual. Production plants are being moved to far away countries, meaning that we run the risk of also losing the expertise and community and decision-making structures that our societies have developed over centuries. The MAST Foundation – with its Photo Gallery, the photo Collection, the GD4PhotoArt contest and the Foto/Industria biennial – wishes, by way of confrontation with photographs of the world of work, to promote the understanding of collective and economic systems, the power of innovation and a sense of individual and social responsibility. The competition procedures require that the photographers, under forty years of age, are proposed by international experts in the field. Candidates are invited to participate by presenting a project and their portfolio. The jury selects four photographers for the shortlist, who receive a grant to carry out the plan they have submitted. Before the opening of the exhibition the jury convenes again to evaluate the works and appoint the winner, who receives a further prize.
The artists shortlisted for the fourth edition of the competition are: Marc Roig Blesa, Raphaël Dallaporta, Madhuban Mitra & Manas Bhattacharya, and Óscar Monzón. The winner of the current edition is Óscar Monzón.
The jury of the 2013-2014 GD4PhotoArt Award consists of: Isabella Seràgnoli (President of G.D and of the MAST Foundation), Quentin Bajac (MoMA – The Museum of Modern Art, New York), Giovanna Calvenzi (Journalist, Periodici San Paolo, Milan), Giuseppe Ciorra (Maxxi Architecture), Daniela Facchinato (Photographer), Laura Gasparini (Panizzi Photographic Library, Reggio Emilia), François Hébel (Artistic Director, Foto/Industria), Michael Hoppen (Gallery Owner, Michael Hoppen Gallery, London), Piero Orlandi (Institute for Cultural Heritage of the Emilia Romagna Region), Urs Stahel (Curator, Mast Foundation Photo Collection), Roberta Valtorta (Contemporary Photography Museum, Cinisello Balsamo, Milan).




First came the album, then the booklet and later the book. For over a century, industry has introduced new ways of using printing in its communications: showpiece albums, advertising brochures, anniversary books, and so on. Companies’ 50th, 100th and 150th anniversaries were often celebrated with lavishly printed and bound self-portraits. Words and pictures combined to represent past achievements and the company’s prosperity. The exhibition uses 120 volumes from Italian industry to trace the development of photography in books. It is also a stroll through Italian industrial photography and the history of Italian enterprises. A number of video projections make it possible to follow the page sequence.
All the books come from the Savina Palmieri collection, Milan.


Foto Industria

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Industry, now. contemporary photographs from the mast collection

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With Industry, Now MAST presents images of contemporary industry as captured in the photos of twenty-four modern artists and photographers, offering a reflection on the representation of the industrial landscape. 

Conceived by the curator of MAST’s industrial photography collection, Urs Stahel, the show features work by artists who, following the loss of incisiveness associated with the classic industrial photography of the 1960s and 70s, are now interested in production processes and their links with society, exploring the balance of power and the influence of industry on human beings and on nature. 

In his seven-metre-long photograph of a Ferrari production hall, for example, Olivo Barbieri illustrates how the halls are now bright white and decorated with large green "house plants", but also how void of human presence they have become. Henrik Spohler and Vincent Fournier lead us through an increasingly invisible world of data and production in which only signs can help us to orientate ourselves. Carlo Valsecchi photographs contemporary production sites as autonomous sculptures of a "science and industrial fiction". Trevor Paglen would appear to have dedicated himself to purely celestial photography, were it not for the many white stripes that indicate satellite orbits and high-tech military surveillance. In his photographic work entitled "Tokamak Asdex Upgrade Interior 2", Thomas Struth describes high-tech research at the Max Planck Institute. Vera Lutter, on the other hand, continues to dedicate herself to the severity and the power of industrial plants in her dark pinhole-camera images, while Miyako Ishiuchi documents the centuries-old production of silk in Japan from a modern perspective. 

Even in post-modern, post-industrial, high-tech times, the ownership and use of the means of production and know-how create different social inequalities. Jacqueline HassinkAllan Sekula and Bruno Serralongue deal with these social and societal issues and differences, while Ad van Denderen and Jim Goldberg counter the empty, white factories with slow, colourful flows of migration. Ed Burtynsky shows where and how large transport ships are recycled, while the photography of Sebastião Salgado reminds us that as well as robot production sites, there are still areas in the world where work is highly labour-intensive. 

Exhibition side event: projection of: “...Stromness...” (duration 12’), made in 2005 by Simon Faithfull, which describes the now abandoned whaling station on the northern coast of South Georgia island, reached by the famous explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton in 1917; and of the docufilm The Forgotten Space by Allan Sekula and Noël Burch (duration 112’), about container shipping – an often obsolete system and a source of serious damage to the planet – , which won the Special Orizzonti Jury Award at the Venice Biennale in 2010. 

Events on show

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Emil Otto Hoppé: Unveiling a Secret

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In a world preview, MAST presents 200 photographs taken in industrial contexts from various countries all over the world by E.O. HOPPÉ, one of the most important photographers of the modern era, eclectic artist and famous portraitist to whom the London National Portrait Gallery dedicated a solo exhibition in 2011.

After exhibiting the  David Lynch photographs, the FONDAZIONE MAST (Arts, Experience, Technology) is opening a new  exhibition in its Gallery, curated by Urs Stahel, and dedicated to EMIL Otto Hoppé (1878-1972), with over 200 works on industry and labour, taken between 1912 and 1937.
Like his contemporaries Alfred Stieglitz, Edward Steichen, Walker Evans, August Sander, and Edward Weston, Hoppé was one of the most important photographers of his era, also famous for his landscape and travel images. In the twenties and thirties, after having consolidated his reputation as a topographic and portrait photographer depicting famous European artists, scientists and politicians like George Bernard Shaw, Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Rudyard Kipling, George V, Vita Sackville-West, Filippo Tommaso Marinetti, and Albert Einstein, E. O. Hoppé set off on his travels to capture the romance and grandeur of industrial sites around the world. During his explorations – in Germany, Great Britain, the United States, India, Australia, New Zealand and other countries – he photographed the futuristic industrial landscape, seeing its gargantuan machinery as both technology and art.  Hoppé was acutely aware of how contemporary industrial technology was heralding the world into a new era where the very nature of work and production would profoundly change.

Emil Otto Hoppé: Unveiling a secret presents for the first time his iconic images of the second industrial revolution and brings Hoppé's work to the attention of the public. This work had remained hidden for a long time in the London photographic archives which had purchased fifty years of works from the artist himself at the end of his long and prestigious career.
Alongside Hoppé's industrial photography on show, in the area dedicated to "side events", MAST will exhibit the rich variety of subject matter in the artist's repertoire with a series of digital projections of other themes from celebrity portraits to nudes and from human typologies to landscapes.

The exhibition, curated by Urs Stahel, is organised by the Fondazione MAST, Bologna, in collaboration with the E.O.  Hoppé Estate Collection / Curatorial Assistance, California.



Cycle of screenings on the work of important international photographers, with presentations and guided visits, that will be opened by an exceptional guest: Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, London. Free entry until full capacity. Registration is mandatory.

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Cycle of screenings on the work of important international photographers, with presentations and guided visits, that will be opened by an exceptional guest: Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs, National Portrait Gallery, London.
Free entry until full capacity. Registration is mandatory.

Saturday 11 April

  • 17:00
    Presentation of the book E. O. HOPPÉ – THE GERMAN WORK by Phillip Prodger, Head of Photographs, National Portait Gallery, London
  • 18:00
    Projection of the film THE PHOTOGRAPHERS BERND AND HILLA BECHER by Marianne Kapfer
  • 20:00
    Projection of the film FINDING VIVIAN MAIER by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel

Sunday 12 April

  • 16:30
    Guided visit to the exhibition EMIL OTTO HOPPÉ – UNVEILING A SECRET with Phillip Prodger
  • 18:00
    Projection of the film WAR PHOTOGRAPHER by Christian Frei
  • 20:00
    Projection of the film  ANNIE LEIBOVITZ: LIFE THROUGH A LENS by Barbara Leibovitz

Saturday 18 April

  • 18:00
    Projection of the film THE PHOTOGRAPHERS BERND AND HILLA BECHER by Marianne  Kapfer. Gianluca Farinelli, Director of the Cineteca di Bologna, will introduce the screening.
  • 20:00
    Projection of the film FINDING VIVIAN MAIER by John Maloof and Charlie Siskel. Gianluca Farinelli, Director of the Cineteca di Bologna, will introduce the screening.

Sunday 19 April

  • 18:00
    Projection of the film WAR PHOTOGRAPHER by Christian Frei
  • 20:00
    Projection of the film  ANNIE LEIBOVITZ: LIFE THROUGH A LENS by Barbara Leibovitz


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MAST presents the Italian debut of the The Factory Photographs by David Lynch.
These black-and-white photographs exude Lynch's fascination with factories, his obsession with smokestacks, chimneys, machinery, darkness and mystery. For more than 30 years now, David Lynch has been photographing derelict monuments of industrialization: brick structures with arches, cornices, domes, and towers, with portals and high windows, resemble cathedrals. These are remnants of a lost world, when factories were proud milestones of progress, today deserted wastelands, scenarios for stories loaded with the emotional aura so characteristic of Lynch.

The photographs were shot between 1980 and 2000, depicting factories in and around Berlin and in Poland, England, New York City, New Jersey and Los Angeles. It is as if the soot, or the vapors and fine dust of the place have deposited themselves onto their surface: they look like charcoal drawings, haptic, the graphic lines in inky black and shades of gray. In a captivating way, the photographs reveal the unmistakeable hand of Lynch: magical, surreal imagery resemble dreamlike sequences in subjects, moods, and nuances of colour. They evoke the labyrinthine, brooding and enigmatic quality of his films.

David Lynch, an icon of American cinema, was born in Missoula, Montana in 1946 and lives in Los Angeles. A director, screenwriter and producer, he is also an accomplished painter, musician, designer and photographer. He initially devoted himself to painting: in 1966 he attended the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in Philadelphia, where he created his first short film. He later moved to Los Angeles. Lynch's first film, Eraserhead (1977) became a "cult classic". The Elephant Man (1980), Blue Velvet (1986) and Mulholland Drive (2001) each brought him an Oscar nomination for Best Director. Dune (1984), Wild at Heart (1990), Lost Highway (1997), The Straight Story (1999), INLAND EMPIRE (2006) and the television series Twin Peaks (1990 -1991) have been honoured with numerous awards.

Exhibition curated by Petra Giloy-Hirtz, in collaboration with MAST and the Photographers' Gallery.

As part of the exhibition, some of Lynch's short films will be shown in a continuous loop: Industrial Soundscape, Bug Crawls, Intervalometer: Steps.

The big images are archival pigment prints
The small images are archival silver-gelatin prints

Visita al Mast

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From the MAST Collection of Photography on Industry and Labour

Industrialisation has fundamentally changed the way we live: it is a transformation that began in Europe in the mid-eighteenth century and spread across the world. These changes were so significant that the term "Industrial Revolution" was coined to describe them. Gradually, over the course of 250 years, industrial modes of production came to complement and replaced agrarian and artisan forms of labour. Today, industrialisation dominates not only the primary and secondary sectors (the exploitation of natural resources and production) but is also a prevalent force in the service, leisure and culture industries as well as in the waste-management industry.

However, to say that the revolutionary influence of industrialisation is limited to the economy ignores the bigger picture. It transformed society as a whole, our knowledge, the way we think, the way we operate – our entire way of life. Before industrialisation, humans lived and worked in accordance with natural processes and life cycles. The rhythm of their days and years was determined by the changing seasons, the rising and setting of the sun. In the industrialised world, production forces dictated, when it was time to get up and go to work, introducing the notion of "factory time". For the first time in human history, industrial production quantified and regulated working hours and leisure hours – through  factory whistles, entry controls and time cards.

Industrialisation has also changed the distance between home and work, and thus the relationship between urban and rural areas. Historically, living and working formed a unit because they happened in the same place, or at least within the same area. Industrialisation and the changes it brought to the labour market forced workers to travel further and further, or even migrate, in order to seek employment. The balance of power shifted from rural to urban areas.

On the other hand, industrialisation liberated many people by lifting the yoke of serfdom that farmers laboured under and relaxing the strict and rigid regulations artisan guilds imposed on their members. Concepts such as hygiene and progress might not have entered our vocabulary if not for industrialisation. But all these progressive developments came for some at a heavy price: the wealth of a few was built on the impoverishment of another part of the population.

In short, industrial production has wrought enormous changes in our existence. Conversely, industrial production would not have been possible without the human element, without workers. At least until a very short time ago, until the most recent push of automation, man and machine, industry and human labour formed a significantly tight-knit unit. Even today, the HR manager remains an important authority in any company.

United by this bond, large industries such as  engineering industries came to function as communities in themselves, bringing together 200, 250 or even 300 different trades and professions with armies of apprentices. Canteens or staff restaurants fed and continue to feed the multitudes. In the early 1900's, the German institution of the Wohlfahrtshaus began to offer showers and baths as well as entertainment and education. Bayer Leverkusen is just one of many football clubs to be named after a company.

There have always been two types of industry: on the one hand there are those that treat their staff, workers and employees (or human resources, as they are often called today) with a lot of care and respect, and who are willing to go to great lengths to ensure their health and safety; on the other there are those that have little regard for the people they hire, the methods they use to do so, or the timescales and conditions of their employment. Accordingly, the relationship between employers and employees has always been marked by negotiations, demands, disputes and strikes in the fight for humane working conditions, improved safety regulations, higher wages and shorter working hours. Industrial history is also the history of industrial action and organised labour.

The Human Capital in Industries exhibition showcases more than 200 photographic images  (commissioned work, socially conscious representations and artistic statements) from the Fondazione MAST collection in an attempt to address the various issues relating to the past and present of industries and labour, industrialists and employees, human resources and human capital.

It shows men at work in mines, in the metal and machine industries, in textile mills, building transport routes – roads, railway lines, ships – and generating energy. 19th century work processes are compared with those of the 20th and 21st centuries. Real-life working conditions in the Western world are pitted against the euphoric vision of work in the Soviet Union. Hierarchies – from blue collar to white collar to engineers, executives, management and company owners – are made visually salient. But the photographs on display also address topics such as the commute from home to work and back again, health and safety issues and the concept of (working) time, which was structured once and for all by the forces of industrialisation. Again and again, social progress only came as the result of hard-won battles. Occasionally workers even had to go on strike.

Some of the photographers are anonymous, we have no idea who they were, while other images were taken by photographers employed by companies or factories. Finally, some photographers who have since become famous also took on this subject, among them, Margarete Bourke-White, Robert Doisneau, David Goldblatt, Brian Griffin, Jacqueline Hassink, Erich Lessing, Jercy Lewczyński, Ugo Mulas, Jorge Ribalta, August Sander, Josef Sudek, Larry Sultan/Mike Mandel, Jakob Tuggener, and many others.

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Umberto Eco's Lectio Magistralis "Reflections on Pain" took place at MAST in Bologna on the occasion of the consignment of the Diplomas of the Masters degree in palliative medicine and the advanced course in paediatric palliative care organized by the Academy of Science in Palliative Medicine and the University of Bologna.

Umberto Eco's lecture will be published in ASMEPA (Accademia delle Scienze di Medicina Palliativa) Edizioni's book series "Incontri".

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The new exhibition presents new images from the collection of such artists as: Margaret Bourke-White, Bill Brant, Robert Doisneau, Walker Evans, Harry Gruyaert, Lewis Wickes Hine, W. Eugene Smith, Andreas Gursky, Stéphane Couturier, Doug Menuez, Toni Schneiders, Toshio Shibata, Albert Renger-Patzsch, Simon Norfolk, Lee Friedlander, Peter Keetman, Timm Rautert, Walter Vogel, in addition to a work composed of 53 photographs by Lewis Baltz and Naoya Hatakeyama, one of the leading artists on the contemporary Japanese art scene, with Maquette/Lights (backlit photos) exhibited for the first time in Italy.

The MAST Collection of Photography on Industry and Labour is the first of its kind in the world, and is growing continually with new acquisitions, some of which were presented in the first show in 2014. The exhibit is divided into five thematic sections, and is curated, along with the exhibition space, by Urs Stahel:

1. WORK , WORKER: a portrait of the labourer and the image of the industrial landscape are presented as they change over the course of time, from the beginning of the twentieth century to present day.

2. INDUSTRIAL AREA, INDUSTRIAL PLANT: the theatre of industrial production is discussed through pairs of contrasting images: "The past and today."

3. LIGHT AND SHADE: the black, fiery, dark factory of the past, overflowing with workers and the white, sterile, bright and empty pavilions of today.

4. VISIBILITY/INVISIBILITY: the contrast between the early massive heavy machinery, and its visibly comprehensible processes, and the mute, enigmatic, aseptic modern production tools.

5. FLOW OF ENERGY, FLOW OF TRAFFIC, FLOW OF DATA: no industrial production process can do without energy, transport, handling of raw materials, semi-finished and finished goods, and now data and communication flows between man, machine and equipment.

With these five chapters, the MAST Foundation has begun to write a history of industry and labour with       images by the major photographers who have documented their inception and evolution until now.

We live in the western world, in what is generally referred to as the post-industrial era. Many factories have been closed and production processes delocalized. Europe is changing face, turning itself into a great service providing continent.

The concept of post-industrial is only effective, however, if we relate it to the fact that, despite having moved many enterprises to Asia and delocalized production processes, we continue to derive profit from the economic results obtained. It is less fitting if we consider that the cardinal points are still those of an industrial type economy: inventiveness, investment, production.

In the past, society has often experienced a certain unease in its relationship with industry. It was clear right from the start, and continues to be so, that industry responds to our needs, brings enormous benefits, creates prosperity and makes our lives easier. But how do we talk about it? It is evident to everyone how pleasure in beautiful things is strongly embedded in our society. We talk about the beauty of the landscape, of works of art, fashion, beautiful people, beautiful cars. In contrast, we speak much less willingly when referring to production processes. It is as if a recurring image, evoked by the heavy industry of the past, still loomed over the entire sector of industrial production. So, if on the one hand we readily discuss extraordinary results and exceptional products, on the other we tend to overlook the difficulties production and producers encounter. And in some circumstances industry is alluded to as society's grey area. This can be seen in the controversial relationship with images of the industrial world.

For decades, photos of factories have been treated with total indifference and it was not uncommon for them to be thrown away when a company moved site. It is only recently that we have started to re-evaluate and retrieve them, thus realising we have eliminated the evidence of almost half of the world, the history, the universe of industrial production: a world that provides a valuable key to under stand our lives, our thought and our activities.

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FOTO/INDUSTRIA 01 (Bologna, 2013)

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The first edition of the Biennale FOTO/INDUSTRIA was held 3 to 20 October 2013 (the exhibition at MAST was open until January 1, 2014).

The Biennale is the first initiative of its kind in the world to be devoted to industrial, corporate and work photography, with the aim of representing one of the main dimensions of contemporary life and of stimulating reflection on the working world.
The images, taken by photographers of international standing, offer visitors some glimpses of the development of industrial production from the 20th century through to the present day, and with an eye to the future.
The Biennale has been organised in conjunction with Les Rencontres de la Photographie d'Arles, with the artistic direction of Francois Hébel, who has drawn up a programme with content areas such as: Retrospectives on Industrial and Corporate Work, Exhibition of a Project, The Legends of Corporate Photography, Conceptual Projects, Collections.
The photographs are on display in seventeen exhibitions in 10 venues emblems of culture in Bologna, and at MAST, which, with the opening in October, will also offer the city an area of industrial photography with the exhibition Industrial Worlds, curated by Urs Stahel.