The collection comprises Paola Mattioli’s photographs of a town, Fabbrico, and Landini, a company around which its economy and its history turns; a work commissioned by the CGIL, the Italian General Confederation of Labor, of Reggio Emilia and published in a volume by Skira in 2006.

Paola Mattioli (Milan, 1948) has constructed a story-homage dedicated to the figure of the factory worker, to his image, his life, his place in history. She has planned and composed an account that moves between the posed portrait (for many years the focus of the author’s work), interiors of the factory and other places, objects and landscape. Fabbrico is turned into an exemplary place, a true stage for the history of an entire community. As Luzzara had been for Paul Strand in the fifties, for Paola Mattioli this is a town that becomes a protagonist and asks to be portrayed in the round. The photographer alternates the human figure with objects and places, proposing a highly structured account attuned to the complex requirements of contemporary narrative, while not fearing to tackle one of the themes of the classic iconography of labor, now abandoned: the relationship between the human body and the body of the machine. The account is also brought to life by the interweaving of the main photographs with a large number of small pictures that animate the narration almost as if it were a hypertext, creating cross-references, allusions and emphases. These are photographic records of the Resistance, party membership cards, images of struggle, identity cards and photographs from family albums: small notes in the margin that act on the principal account like a sort of punctuation.

Private property, entrusted to the Museum of Contemporary Photography

Contents 38 prints

Dating of works 2005

Authors Paola Mattioli

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