The raw material the town is named after, Asbestos, provided the city with its identity and pride for generations and provided (financially) for its inhabitants. Asbestos was long seen as a type of wonder material with many different uses and applications. But in the early 1990s, the World Health Organization classified asbestos as a hazardous material and nearly all industrialized nations stopped using it. In 2012 all asbestos mining was officially halted and what was once the largest mine in the world, located in the small Canadian town, was forced to close. Since then, Asbestos, Quebec has grind to a halt. In his photographs, Matthias Walendy tells the fate of the people and documents their ways of dealing with a new reality. The portraits of the inhabitants, the impressive and frightening mine landscapes, the architecture and the vacancy of the city combine to create a sense of resignation.
Alexander Gehring's work "Dunkle Kammern" takes a look at caves and underground vaults. In Plato’s cave man becomes conscious for the first time of the deceptive power of the image and experiences what he sees as a pure copy of the truth. In the darkness, hidden from the world of light, quite by chance a first reflection about the truth content of photography arises. The cave thus becomes a prototype of the photographic dark room – it is where images are produced. The constant wish of man for visual miracles, which manifest themselves outside their dark walls as truths become images, is reflected in their own photographic image.