RUIN IS THE ROAD TO TRANSFORMATION
Photographer: Irene Ferri – www.ireneferri.com
Models: Marcella Faraci | Gisele da Silva Pattacini
Wardrobe Stylist – MUA: Martina Lanzi
Location: Officine Meccaniche Reggiane – Mechanical Workshops of Reggio Emilia (Italy)
About the location:
The factory was founded in 1901 in Reggio Emilia and has become very famous as Italian aircraft manufacturer during World War II. After several takeovers by different groups, it has been abandoned in 2008. Plenty of street artists have converged in the buildings over time and painted its walls; the location has been shot in renowned movies and music videos too. Today, the factory has been left alone, mainly inhabited by homeless people.
Regardless of the obvious urgency to take control of the situation, I felt lucky to see this space. The entire factory looks stuck in time. Suspended. The furniture was left right there. All floors are still covered with papers, folders, documents..
About the editorial:
I was inspired by Eat Pray Love’s quote about the Augusteum in Rome, which throughout time was destroyed and built up over and over again:
“A friend took me to the most amazing place the other day. It’s called the Augusteum. Octavian Augustus built it to house his remains. When the barbarians came they trashed it a long with everything else. The great Augustus, Rome’s first true great emperor. How could he have imagined that Rome, the whole world as far as he was concerned, would be in ruins. It’s one of the quietest, loneliest places in Rome. The city has grown up around it over the centuries. It feels like a precious wound, a heartbreak you won’t let go of because it hurts too good. We all want things to stay the same. Settle for living in misery because we’re afraid of change, of things crumbling to ruins. Then I looked at around to this place, at the chaos it has endured – the way it has been adapted, burned, pillaged and found a way to build itself back up again. And I was reassured, maybe my life hasn’t been so chaotic, it’s just the world that is, and the real trap is getting attached to any of it. Ruin is a gift. Ruin is the road to transformation.”
To me, this editorial represents women’s power to rise from pain and build something beautiful again.
I’ve been wanting to shoot in this abandoned factory for a long time. It’s like “a precious wound” that my hometown hasn’t been able to get rid of, maybe because it’s still so fascinating that “it hurts too good”.