Foto/Industria 2023: GAME

Foto/Industria 2023: GAME

Fondazione MAST

Photo: Luca Capuano.

October 24, 2023
Foto/Industria 2023
The game industry in photography
October 18–November 26, 2023
Fondazione MAST
Via Speranza 42
40133 Bologna
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 10am–7pm

T +39 051 610 4846
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Fondazione MAST presents the sixth edition of Foto/Industria, the world’s only biennial focused on industrial and work photography, from October 18 to November 26 in Bologna, under the artistic direction of Francesco Zanot.

The game industry is the central theme of GAME, this year’s photographic journey consisting of twelve exhibitions, including eleven solo shows and one collective exhibition, in ten locations around the historic centre and at MAST.

From children’s games to amusement parks, casinos to role-playing games and video games, the game sector has taken on unprecedented proportions, incorporating extremely important and relevant themes. “Research into a universal activity such as game play”, explains Francesco Zanot, “which knows no limits in terms of gender, age, or location, has revealed complex and articulated points of view aimed at different objectives: from entertainment and learning to relaxation and gratification.” 

Links are formed between industrial production and work, the underlying themes of every edition of Foto/Industria, and a vast, robust sector that has managed to reinvent itself over time, responding to changing tastes and habits while remaining extremely receptive to technological innovation. In fact, it is one of the main recipients of innovation, serving as a testing ground for its additional uses.

The twelve exhibitions of Foto/Industria 2023 represent a timeline of views on the topic of game play, spanning from the late 19th century until present day. They offer an opportunity to observe and delve into the research of a selection of international artists (young, rising stars and leading personalities on the global scene) through eleven solo shows and one collective exhibition: Ericka Beckman (USA, 1951), Olivo Barbieri (Italy, 1954), and Raed Yassin (Lebanon, 1979) explore some of the typical structures of game play, capturing the cultural aspects, symbolic dimension, and relationships with other social models. Heinrich Zille (Germany, 1858–1929), Linda Fregni Nagler (Italy, 1976), and Daniel Faust (USA, 1956) are oriented towards observing the space of game play, which spans specifically from the Berlin amusement park in the late 19th century to the playgrounds scattered across contemporary cities, up to a quasi-typological analysis of Las Vegas, where game play has determined the architecture and urban planning of an entire city. Meanwhile, the relationship between game play, identity, and social relationships is at the centre of the studies of Hicham Benohoud (Morocco, 1968), Danielle Udogaranya (UK, 1991), and Erik Kessels (the Netherlands, 1966), whose themes range from game play’s pedagogical value to its role in the formation of self-image, from the mask to the constitution of a social experience. The works of Andreas Gursky (Germany, 1955), Cécile B. Evans (USA/Belgium, 1983), and the collective exhibit Automated Photography (organised in collaboration with ECAL/University of Art and Design Lausanne) explore the theme of inventing reality as the basis of the game-play experience, portrayed as both a pure exercise of the imagination and in the sense of building real alternative, virtual universes in which video-game adventures take place.

The 2023 edition of Foto/Industria celebrates Fondazione MAST’s tenth anniversary and is among the initiatives for the 100th anniversary of the G.D company. “Making work a culture and culture a work”: these words form a bridge between two realities, representing both the corporate culture of a company (G.D) that was consolidated over time and the creation of an innovative, participatory space for generating new ways of thinking about work (MAST). 

Fondazione MAST (Manifattura di Arti, Sperimentazione e Tecnologia) is a non-profit organisation founded in Bologna in 2013 that aims to promote social innovation and corporate welfare projects to support collective economic, social, and cultural growth. MAST is an internationally renowned cultural centre that provides advanced welfare services for Coesia industrial group employees, offering free cultural activities for the community focused on the arts and photography on industry and work. 

For press enquiries, please contact: Zeynep Seyhun, Pickles PR, zeynep [​at​] / Cristina Giusti, Pickles PR, cristina [​at​]

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October 24, 2023

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