Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis Exhibition

When I entered the exhibition the first thing I saw was “Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis” in big letters with a short description of what the exhibit is about. Next to the description is one of Salgado’s photographs. The exhibit is very neat and organized, all of the photographers have descriptions next to them so that you know exactly what you’re looking at and get a good understanding and outlook of the photograph. The photographs are in black when with different shades of gray, light and dark. The categories of the exhibit are: Northern Spaces, Sanctuaries, Amazonia and Pantanal, Planet South and Africa. There is about 100 photographs in the exhibit to make an estimate. There are photographs of areas in the world and photographs of people and some animals. The audience is anyone who comes to view the exhibit. “Genesis” means the origin, which is the beginning of anything. The description at the start of the exhibit states “Genesis is a quest for the world as it was, as it was formed, as it evolved…” which is what the photographs are meant to portray.

The Exhibition is about the world as it was before modern life. It contains landscapes, seascapes, animals and people who are not common in today’s world. One of the landscapes of “Bryce Canyon National Park” shows deep space. Some of the people in Salgado’s photographs are named “Yali Women” that wear a bag woven from orchid fibers and they only eat the wild pig they hunt. Another set of photographs shows the village of Ger and their traditions. What we don’t see is any modern ways of life like technology, buildings, cars etc.

One photograph that I loved was of a father and his daughter. They are part of the Yali and the photograph shows them wearing the most important items of clothing for the Yali. I found this photograph very interesting because I have never heard or saw anything like it. The photograph was taken at eye-level and has a strong vertical line. It is a close-up shot with shallow space also off balance/asymmetrical.

In all, the exhibition’s purpose is to show the world before it became modern and show it the way it was formed. It is a quest to find the things that existed before. The subject of the exhibit is Genesis which means the beginning. The exhibit has an emotional impact because the photographs are of subjects that most people were not aware exist, so it creates emotion when viewing then. The exhibit communicates that not everything and everywhere is modern and that there are places in the world that are still pure.

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One Response to Sebastiao Salgado: Genesis Exhibition

  1. rmichals says:

    You describe the exhibit well. What I find interesting is that you don’t mention climate change at all. Salgado would say that was the subject of the show, its purpose to bring attention to the threat of rising CO2 levels. However, the exhibit has another impact on many of us who live in cities which is just amazement that some of these things still exist at all.

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