Salgado, the world as it was


Contemporary Art

These days our planet is responding to man’s abuse with violence and rebellion. This is why I was moved by a photography exhibition that recaptures the charm, the magic and the immense beauty of our planet. The exhibition was Genesis, by the great photographer Sebastiao Salgado, which recently concluded at the Ara Pacis in Rome. I have found this video on the web in which Salgado talks about the photographs in Genesi.

It is curious listening to a man we know only through his works: Salgado is illuminating when he talks about our planet, which – as he says – “is not what it was, it is another planet, an urban planet”, a sort of parallel world. All of Salgado’s work seems to lean towards recapturing an original balance that man has destroyed.

At the same time, Salgado plays down the role of words: “Photos are universal, they require no translation. And a photographer is not an artist or an anthropologist, as people often claim: he is a photographer”, he concludes, with the grace, simplicity and modesty that only the great possess.

The very power of photography is that of attesting to reality, even when it is not right before our eyes.