Project Detail: Journey to the Center of the Earth


LuganoPhotoDays 2018




Paolo Mazzo


Project Info

Journey to the Center of the Earth

“Descend, bold traveller, into the crater of the jökull of Snæfell, which the shadow of Scartaris touches before the Kalends of July, and you will attain the centre of the earth. I did it. Arne Saknussemm”

This is the text found by professor Lidenbrock in Jules Verne's masterpiece that gives the coordinates and keys to get to the center of the earth.

The professor also tells his nephew Axel "Neither you nor anyone else knows exactly what is going on inside the globe".

n 1864, geology was just beginning and so this opinion was widely justified, but today, 150 years later and beyond, we went to the moon, but we never saw the center of the planet that hosts us. And perhaps we will never see it, giving credit to the most incredible and unpredictable theories (not least that of the presence of a self-generated ocean of water in the center of the planet)

Working for a major engineering firm in Lugano, I had the privilege to observe and follow the construction site of the Ceneri Base Tunnel, which involves the construction of two single track tunnels connected by 47 transverse tunnels with safety functions and logistics. The progress has been made by excavation to the explosive, with the consequent safety, waterproofing, water disposal, coating, internal arrangement, cable traces and rough construction equipment, as stated in the technical sheet provided by the study.

Beyond the technical or literary notations watching these men at work in this environment has something certainly epic and mythological.

The emotionality solicited by the vision deals with universal themes, archetypes or themes that belong to humanity in its totality, beyond geographical space and historical time; they represent the fundamental experiences that man faces in his experience of life: life and death, transformation, the relationship with nature and gods, good and evil, love and hate, fall and salvation, masculine and feminine and all the great reasons that the depths of the unconscious can reveal.

The concept of depth feeds the stubborn belief that the meaning of things is placed in a secret cell, away from the easiest evidences, stored in the freezer of a remote darkness, accessible only to patience, fatigue, obstinate investigation.

The effort of men constantly engaged in the effort of research.

"Whatever a man can imagine, other men can make it real." (J.Verne)