Sebastião Salgado – Amazônia
October 01, 2021 – February 13, 2022
For six years Sebastião Salgado travelled in the Brazilian Amazon, photographing the forest, the rivers, the mountains and the people who live there. This exhibition, premiering in Italy with more than 200 photographs, plunges us into the Amazon rainforest, uniting Salgado’s impressive images with the sounds of the jungle. The rustling of trees, the cries of animals, birdsongs or the roar of water pumbling down from mountain tops, having turned into a magical soundscape, by the composer Jean-Michel Jarre.
The exhibition highlights this ecosystem’s fragility, showing how in protected areas, where indigenous communities, ancestral guardians of the environment, lives in territories where the forest has suffered almost no damage. Salgado invites us to see, listen and reflect on the ecological situation and how people are addressing the crisis today.
“A photographic exhibition is the visual expression of an idea, a staging designed to convey a point of view. From the moment Amazônia was conceived as a show, I wanted to create an environment where the visitor feels enveloped by the forest and becomes immersed in both its exuberant vegetation and the daily lives of its native peoples. Along with images presented at different heights and in different formats, the exhibition includes spaces resembling the indigenous housing known as ocas, which vividly evoke the islets of human life in the heart of the jungle.”
“The idea is to have the area in semi-darkness, the lighting focusing on the photographs. The walls are painted in dark gray while the ocas are painted in ocher red. In the ocas, movies show leaders of Indigenous communities discussing their lives, problems and customs. The visit is accompanied by a sound track composed for the exhibition by Jean-Michel Jarre and inspired by authentic sounds of the forest, such as the rustling of trees, the cries of animals, the song of birds and roar of water tumbling from mountain peaks.”
“Two halls screen different sequences. One shows scenes of the forest to the sound of the symphonic poem, Erosion – The Origin of the Amazon River, by the Brazilian composer Heitor Villa-Lobos (1887-1959). The other displays portraits of indigenous inhabitants, accompanied by music composed especially by the Brazilian musician Rodolfo Stroeter. While it may be illusory to think we can reproduce the sensations felt in loco in the rainforest, we hope at least to convey a small part of the magic of the Amazon region and its native peoples to visitors, offering them an intimate experience that they can stay with them after they have left the exhibition.”
Curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado.