Torino Foto Festival – New Landscapes

True Colors

Mathieu Asselin


Villa della Regina

Curated by
Sergio Valenzuela Escobedo

True Colors, inspired by the Dieselgate scandal, questions the contemporary industry’s deceptive ecological narrative. The project recontextualizes the industry’s own visual marketing tools, including photography, video, advertising and archival material, to reveal the stark contrast between its professed environmental narrative and actual practices. It prompts us to reexamine our relationship with cars against the backdrop of today’s pressing environmental issues and to critically evaluate the industry’s unsustainable, individualistic and production-oriented vision of the future of human mobility.


In 2014, it was revealed that Volkswagen was using software to circumvent air pollution tests in certain car models, which was a major scandal in the automotive industry. When this software detected standardized emissions tests, it modified the engine to reduce emissions only during the tests. However, under real driving conditions, these vehicles emitted much higher levels of pollutants. This discovery caused great outrage and exposed similar fraudulent practices at other car manufacturers such as Audi, BMW, Renault, Fiat and Jeep.