The assignment sounded enticing: to photograph ten Holcim produc-tion sites – heavy industry. We were to be given free rein and unre-stricted access to all the plants. It was our impressions they were interested in. The only condition was to work in black and white. That bears witness to the courage and selfconfidence of this company.
As we stood outside the first plant and became aware of the size and complexity of the production sites, we realized how much effort goes into the work of turning limestone into cement, especially on a global scale.
From this point on we were excited. We had set out on an adventure: giant plants, pipes spewing sparks, monstrous machines, fantastic swathes of dust and the most modern technologies, the old and the new. In the end, our journey took us to 13 countries and 16 different destinations. Each was interesting in its own right, the plants were similar but never identical, always full of surprises, never dull. For us, having long worked in industrial settings, it was a photographer's paradise.
We were astounded as we took it all in, considered our approach, our position. Ultimately, there was only one position: the one in which we found ourselves, that of the detached observer in a foreign world.
We've tried to find images that portray more than superficial sensa-tions, ones that capture the density of the sites, that do not judge, but that convey our fascination to the viewer. The result is images of a subjective reality which show what we have seen without trying to ultimately portray either the industry, or Holcim in general.