Reflections of Audi Brussels

Audi’s first electric car, an SUV with quattro technology, is ready to take to the road. To celebrate this e-storical event, Audi asked two world-famous photographers from Magnum Photos, Paolo Pellegrin and Gueorgui Pinkhassov, to spend five days at its resource-efficient production plant in Brussels.

04/03/2019 Copy: Francesca Berardi Photos: Paolo Pellegrin and Gueorgui Pinkhassov Reading Time: 3 min

Audi e-tron
The Audi e-tron reflects the fundamental Audi design idiom, transported into the electric age through modern, stylistically defining details.

Impressions of an electric revolution

“As a photographer, I am a silent witness who uses light to intervene in a scene and transform it.”

Paolo Pellegrin

Pellegrin and Pinkhassov were fascinated by the site — a historic factory converted into a groundbreaking laboratory for a resource-efficient production process — and intrigued by the grace and strength of the robots, which assist the highly specialized workers. While high tech is clearly key to the production of electric cars and the development of Audi e-tron technology, the series of photos produced by Pellegrin and Pinkhassov shows how production still relies heavily on human ingenuity, care and passion. The body of work the two photographers produced at Audi Brussels is already a vibrant and electrifying record of the e-story of mobility.

Capturing reflective surfaces, the robots’ strength and grace as well as the factory workers’ dedication and passion, they produced a series of photographs that reveal the innovation, quality, and attention to detail, that define the Audi e-tron technology.

“I tried to find the rhythmic qualities in everything — colors, lines, even stains.”

Gueorgui Pinkhassov

Building by building, they discovered and captured every stage of the production process, from the welding and painting of the car body, through the assembly of a 700-kg battery. Pellegrin worked with two assistants, carefully framing and adjusting the light for each shot, pondering the elements of the visual language that arises when a photographer, observer and a moment in history converge. Pinkhassov wandered around “looking for nothing” and celebrating whatever his gaze instantly fell in love with.

Electric has gone Audi

While high tech is clearly key to the production of Audi e-tron cars, the series of photos taken by Pellegrin and Pinkhassov show how the production still relies heavily on human ingenuity, care and passion.


The photographers

Paolo Pellegrin

Paolo Pellegrin

has been a member of Magnum Photos since 2005 and is the winner of many accolades, including ten World Press Photo awards. After completing his degree in architecture, he took his camera and began traveling around the world to capture humanitarian crises, wars and other signifcant stories such as the effects of climate change. Pellegrin regards the electric car as “a necessary element for our future on a planet that man is compromising so badly.” At Audi Brussels, he was impressed by the high-tech industrial spaces and the notable presence of robots.

Gueorgui Pinkhassov

Gueorgui Pinkhassov

joined Magnum Photos in 1988 and contributes regularly to international media such as The New York Times Magazine and Geo. His interest in photography began during his studies in cinematography and his collaboration with the prominent Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky. Like the Audi e-tron, Pinkhassov's photos celebrate the integration of people and technology. 

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