Atipografia presents “The Perfect Tannery”, a specially-designed, hitherto unseen photographic project dedicated to the Chiampo valley, the largest and most important tannery district in Italy.
The project, curated by Elena Dal Molin and Lynda Scott, was developed from a project by Gaetano Castellini Curiel and is promoted by the eight largest companies operating in the leather-tanning sector (Conceria Montebello, Rino Mastrotto Group, ICA, Dani, Gruppo Mastrotto, Adelaide, Faeda, and Bonaudo) along with the water purifying plant Acque del Chiampo, UNIC – Unione Nazionale Industria Conciaria (National tanning industries union), the tannery division of Confindustria Vicenza, Intesa Sanpaolo and the Municipality of Arzignano.
“The Perfect Tannery” provides an international overview of the identity of this industrial district, that generates 1% of Italy’s GDP and 51% of the country’s sales in this particular sector. There are 430 companies, with 8,300 employees, in the industrial cluster which covers an area of 130 square kilometres.
The project was executed by means of commissions entrusted to two important photographers, both members of Magnum Photos: Stuart Franklin (London, 1956) and Mark Power (Harpenden, 1959)
The exhibition takes the form of two original parallel sequences, and it describes the new face of the district. It will be held from Saturday 15 October to Sunday 18 December, in the venue Atipografia, a not-for-profit association located in Arzignano (Vicenza) whose mission is the promotion and development of contemporary culture.
The centennial tanning tradition in the province of Vicenza has embraced the concept of renewal, adopting a circular, sustainable economic model. The exhibition describes the current situation in the tanning industrial cluster, which has succeeded in combining its traditional expertise and enthusiasm with the very latest technological science. “The Perfect Tannery“ is a description of both past and present, of technology and environment, of a fine example of Italian manufacturing excellence and the territory in which it operates.
The exhibition has a dual narrative structure: Franklin looks at water, a natural environmental resource that is fundamental in the industrial processes depicted; Power uses his camera to explore the world of the tanning trade and its innovative technology.