My first corporate assignment was a reportage about the great oil refinery in Priolo, in the south of Italy. The petrochemical complex of Augusta-Priolo is an industrialized area, one of largest in Europe, located along the eastern coast of Sicily. The complex was built near the city of Siracusa, the ancient Greek town of Archimedes, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 2005.
I have always been fascinated by the large and graphic industrial landscapes. I met many people in the workplaces, sometimes they were the subjects of my pictures. Furthermore, I have become friends with some of them: workers, engineers, technicians. They kept me company during the long photo sessions, night and day, seven days a week. The big factories never sleep…
After thirty years of Photography, and many others assignments, I am editing my reportages again. A selection of these now appears on a new website dedicated to my industrial photographs. Take a look, you are all very welcome!
Lodz is an industrial town, the second largest in Poland, which was “a promised land” during the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century. These years have been well described in Andrzej Wajda’s movie, derived from the Wladyslaw Reymont’s book “Promised Land”. Reymont won the Nobel Award in 1927. Wajda in the ‘ 50 learnt at the prestigious National Film School in Lodz, where studied Krzysztof Kieslowski, Krzysztof Zanussi, also Roman Polanski. Arthur Rubinstein, one of the greatest pianists of the century, was also born in Lodz. I went to the town for a shooting about the factories of an important Italian company. I had a very poor knowledge of Lodz’s culture and its architecture. In Lodz there are neither tourists, nor souvenir of stores. Lodz is an ordinary working city. Today, following the inclusion of Poland in European Community, Lodz has become a promised land, once again, for buildings and modern industry. The old factories are being rebuilt and turned into offices, lofts, shopping centers and art galleries. Modern buildings and new factories are growing up near the Mittel-European boulevards, socialist blocks, liberty palaces in downtown, and the old brick factories. Monuments from the past, still living in the present.
Lodz è una città industriale, la seconda per grandezza della Polonia, vera e propria “terra promessa” ai tempi della rivoluzione industriale. Quegli anni sono stati ben raccontati in un film di Andrzej Wajda, tratto dall’omonimo romanzo “Terra promessa” del premio nobel Wladyslaw Reymont. Wajda aveva studiato a Lodz nella prestigiosa scuola di cinematografia dove si sono formati Kieslowski, Polanski e tanti altri. A Lodz è nato uno dei più grandi pianisti del secolo: Arthur Rubinstein.Ero arrivato in città per fotografare alcuni stabilimenti di una grande società italiana e non sapevo del suo background culturale, né della sua particolare architettura. Del resto a Lodz non ci sono turisti, negozi di souvenir, avventurieri e prostitute negli hotel. E’ una città di lavoro, praticamente sconosciuta.Negli ultimi anni, con l’ingresso della Polonia nella Comunità Europea, Lodz è tornata ad essere, per la seconda volta in quasi due secoli, “terra promessa” per l’edilizia e per la grande industria moderna. E così le vecchie fabbriche di mattoni sono stati in parte riconvertiti in uffici, loft, centri commerciali, gallerie d’arte. Nuovi edifici e moderni stabilimenti sorgono accanto ai boulevard mitteleuropei, ai blocks del socialismo, ai palazzi liberty del centro, alle grandi fabbriche di mattoni dell’Ottocento. Monumenti di un’era non ancora conclusa.