Linked with the Magnum Photos agency, Paolo Pellegrin is one of the world’s most well known photographers. His work constitutes a vast though coherent corpus that documents the crucial moments of our time: from the spread of AIDS in Uganda in 1995 to the wars in Bosnia, Iraq, Afghanistan and Lebanon, Guantanamo and the death of Pope John Paul II. His work is an “archive of collective memory” with a humanist, political, historical and aesthetic profile, realised by renewing the traditional language of photojournalism.
In this series commissioned by the MAXXI for the exhibition "Energy" (2013), Pellegrin interprets the spaces of energy by choosing to recount what we normally do not observe: the space in which energy is materially produced. Pellegrin chose the Versalis Refinery in Ravenna, a 270-hectare megastructure. The large panoramic external images, of which this image is one, investigate the relationship between territory, architecture and space. The rigorous black & white and the gaze of a documentary eye amplify the sense of extraneousness, which is difficult to interpret: suspended between a post-atomic landscape and the siren’s call of palazzi, skyscrapers, cathedrals, Pellegrin’s panoramas design an enigmatic skyline.