Brazil - Born in 1944

“The first time I saw the Serra Pelada mine, I was speechless. There was this huge pit before me, almost two hundred metres in diameter and just as deep, swarming with tens of thousands of barely clothed men, half of them carrying heavy bags of earth on rickety wooden ladders, the other half hurtling down muddy slopes towards the abyss. They were looking for gold.” Sebastião Salgado first discovered this Dantean scene in September 1986. At the time, the Brazilian photographer was working on The Hand of Man, a vast perspective depicting the end of the industrial revolution that took him from the steel mills of the Soviet Union to the plantations of Reunion Island. Other than the harsh living conditions endured by labourers and farm workers, he sought to highlight the nobility of men at work. He spent 35 days at the open-pit mine, where conditions were atrocious and accidents a daily occurrence. The result is a frighteningly beautiful array of images depicting lines of human ants scouring the earth for a vein of gold, clusters of bodies and matter, and the demented gazes of wretched souls, barefoot in streams of filth and mercury. Over 30 years later, Salgado returned to this work in 2019 to publish a sumptuous book soberly entitled Gold. This exhibition will give the wider public a chance to see some of the haunting, hypnotic images of this now-closed inferno.
Type d'exposition