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Abandoned Mines, 2022

Archival pigment print, 750x750mm

Commission for the Artphilein Foundation in Lugano, Switzerland. The map was included in Exploitation of Natural Resources 01: Mining of Rocks, Minerals and Coal. 

From the Artphilein website:

“This first Artphilein Dossier presents the covers of the books from the Artphilein Library that deal with mining landscapes, extraction methods, mines both in service and disused, industrial and artisanal exploitation, working conditions, machinery, processing and the transformation of raw materials, as well as environmental and social impact.

The books, in alphabetical by title, are accompanied with typological info and texts by the curators Joerg Bader and Diego Stephani, sharing their impressions and considerations on this specific and very particular subset of the Artphilein Library.

The selection is the narrative of this investigation, a provisional account. It is also a testimony to the expressive power of the photobook – in its reconciliation of images with texts, in its potential and wide range of approaches – as well as to the possibility for a library, adopting a specific selection criterion to choose from the vast range of past and recent publications, to create a story to propose, an invitation to reflect on the natural resources, such as rocks, minerals and coal, to be found on every continent and exploited since ancient times (the first mining activity of hematite is thought to date back over 40,000 years).

Abandoned Mines by Mishka Henner – the last image in this Artphilein Dossier – was realized at the request of our Foundation as a visual condensation of this first chapter: it is a map of a fictitious island filled with the remains of mining operations, precious metals, and the toxic consequences of an industry central to the development of our civilization.

The books can be consulted in the exhibition, accompanied by brief abstracts, or online at”