Masterworks of industrial photography / Capolavori della fotografia industriale Exhibitions 2019 Mast Foundation / Mostre 2019 Fondazione Mast


This book features the industrial photography exhibitions held by the Fondazione Mast in 2019, a unique and perhaps inimitable stage in a path of study and reflection constantly pursued by MAST as it retains its position as a workshop of thought centred on the pairing that links industry to work.

The first exhibition presented a selection of colour photographs taken by Thomas Struth from 2007 on at industrial sites and research centres worldwide that are cutting edge in technological innovation and experimentation. Struth is one of the best-known artists on the international scene and his 25 large format pictures are of normally inaccessible places, offering a glimpse into a world hidden behind advanced technology. Space research labs, nuclear plants, operating theatres and drilling rigs are photographed with painstaking attention, detached curiosity and a strong sense of aesthetics. The artist focuses on machinery as a means of changing today’s society and illustrates a number of scientific and hyper-tech experiments, new developments, research, measurements and interventions that will directly or indirectly burst into our lives and change their course at some unknown moment in the present or future. These works enable us to grasp all the complexity, scale and potency of the processes but also to perceive the power, politics of knowledge and trade they conceal.

Next comes the Anthropocene exhibition, an art project exploring mankind’s indelible footprint left on Earth via the remarkable photographs of Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier. Bringing together photography, cinema, augmented reality and scientific research, the three artists gave rise to a multimedia exploration of great visual impact recording the changes imposed by human activity on the planet and demonstrates the effects on natural processes. Anthropocene offered a major opportunity to raise awareness on a topic that is ever more crucial.

The two exhibitions form a pairing that is justified by the diverse work methods and the complementary nature of the topics addressed. Underpinning both is the capacity of the photographic tool, now risen to highly sophisticated levels, to create images that become the focus of a contemporary thought that raises questions and rattles consciences.

22 x 29
Year of publication
Bilingual Italian/English