Back for its seventh edition, The MAST Photography Grant on Industry and Work opens with a press conference at Fondazione MAST in Bologna, Italy on January 25. The award recognizes talented young photographers who have come up with an original, unpublished project specifically for the Fondazione MAST on issues relating to the world of industry and technology.
Just five finalists have been selected out of 53 candidates from all over the world. The first is Abu Dhabi-born, New-York based Farah Al Qasimi whose work focuses on the large Arab community residing in Dearborn, Michigan – the birthplace of Ford.
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Moroccan photographer Hicham Gardaf was chosen for his body of work, In Praise of Slowness which is a tribute to exactly that. Gardaf explores the contrast between the prosperous and expanding parts of ‘the city’ and the more traditional, historic center with its ancient charm.
The third photographer to be selected is Maria Mavropoulou from Athens, Greece who has used AI, text-to-image conversion software to process a multiplicity of images that examines whether AI will always be constrained to reality or whether one day, with more training, it might be able to create meaningful artwork independently.
Keep the Light Faithfully creator Lebohang Kganye made it into the top five with a project that stages moments of South African life using cut-out silhouettes enhanced by theatrical lighting. Finally, Italian photographer Salvatore Vitale’s radical project Death by GPS secured his place in the top five. He invites the viewer to reflect on the incongruities of automation through a series of juxtaposed documentary photos of real events and staged sabotage videos.
Urs Atahel who curated and set up the photo gallery said,
“Through the MAST Photography Grant on Industry and Work, Fondazione MAST offers young photographers the opportunity to confront the issues related to the world of industry and technology, to the systems of work and capital, to inventions, developments and the universe of production, and often, their innovative and unseen before gaze forces us to confront incongruities, fractures, phenomena and perhaps even abysses that we had previously neglected or tried not to see.“
Alongside the five finalists, 24 artists and photographers from previous years will be exhibiting their work at the Fondazione MAST which opens on January 25 and runs until May 1, 2023.
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