“I am not an artist. I’m a photographer”
Sebastião Salgado 9/21/2014
The 8 year project, Genesis, has finally come to NYC at ICP in all of it’s huge print glory.
Curated by his wife and constant companion, Lelia Wanick Salgado, she had this to say summing up the exhibit:
“Genesis is a quest for the world as it was, as it was formed, as it evolved, as it existed for millennia before
modern life accelerated and began distancing us from the very essence of our being,” said Lélia Wanick
Salgado. “It is testimony that our planet still harbors vast and remote regions where nature reigns in silent
and pristine majesty.”
What you will see in the 200+s exhibit is some of the most awe inspiring black and white images. The size of the prints alone are spectacular, reminiscent of his show at ICP years ago of his Workers series.
Actually the limited edition book of this show is a whopping hardcover, 2 vols. with book stand, 18.4 x 27.6 in., 704 pages.
Not sure who has that room, but you can see a sample at the ICP.
The prints on the wall demand your studied attention, though. There is a hyper contrast that bolts from the frame, and delights the eye.
There is a serious message behind all of his work. The climate change that has occurred on this planet since he has begun shooting in 1970 has been dramtic. While there was 6% of the rain forest left then, there is less than .5% now.
The indigenous people are losing their homes and their culture.
Not only does he proclaim not to be an artist, he is also not an activist.
An activist gets people to…well..ACT!
These are photographs and are there to show the beauty of nature and the detail of the people. It is not a call to action.
But make no mistake; the passion Mr. Salgado brings to his life’s work is brilliantly intense, and if you can hear him discuss the images, does make you think about the climate change, and what is going away.
Although he and his wife have taken land that they own in Brazil and planted over 2 million trees in an effort to slow down the demise of the rainforest.
He acknowledges that photography being a fairly young medium, may be gone in 20 years. And the thought seems to be a question:
What will we be left with?
Sebastião Salgado, Teureum, sikeirei and leader of the Mentawai clan. This shaman is preparing a filter for sago, with the leaves of this same sago tree. Siberut Island. West Sumatra. Indonesia. 2008. © Sebastião Salgado/Amazonas images-Contact Press Images.
This eight year project cannot be explained in one article but deserve the time to be seen. Whether you can make it to an exhibit, or purchase one of the smaller editions of the book.
You can catch it now at International Center of Photography, New York, NY, USA
September 19, 2014–January 11, 2015
They also have signed copies of his book for sale.Hurry, though. Just saw a short stack today. 9/21
and you can see the exhibit in the future at:
CaixaForum, Barcelona, Spain
October 9, 2014–February 1, 2015
Sejong Art Center, Seoul, Korea
December 15, 2014–March 20, 2015
A Cordoaria Nacional, Lisbon, Portugal
CaixaForum, Palma, Spain
February 25–May 31, 2015
Amerika Haus, Berlin, Germany
April 10–August 18, 2015
Power Station of Art, Shanghai, China
CaixaForum, Zaragosa, Spain
June 18–October 12, 2015
Forti di Bard, Aosta, Italy
May 9–September 30, 2015
Kunst Foyer, Munich, Germany
October 2015–January 2016
November 12, 2015–January 10, 2016
CaixaForum, Lleida, Spain
February 4–May 1, 2016
CaixaForum, Tarragona, Spain
May 31–August 14, 2016
CaixaForum, Girona, Spain
September 14, 2016–January 10, 2017