Sebastião Salgado, Genesis

20.09.2013 – 05.01.2014

Genesis is a global photographic quest in which the Brazilian photographer Sebastião Salgado rediscovers places and peoples that have so far escaped the footprint of modern society. Since 2004, he has undertaken some 30 journeys to the ends of the world, exploring the planet to build a long-term photographic project about the environment, always in black and white. He sailed over oceans, hiked mountains, walked through deserts, observed animals and approached indigenous peoples, aiming at revealing their environments and cultures. Traveling to the world’s most remote areas, often under tough conditions, Salgado renders the beauty of the world’s unknown faces. He also shows the need to preserve the planet and its endangered beauties.

“With Genesis, I had this romantic dream, to find – and share – a primitive world too often invisible and out of reach. (…) I simply wanted to show nature’s splendor everywhere I could find it. I discovered it in infinite spaces of tremendous biological diversity – spaces that practically cover half of the earth’s surface – in vast deserts, for the most part unexplored, in immense tropical or temperate forests, and in impressively beautiful mountain ranges. Discovering this still intact world has been one of the most enriching experiences of my life.”

Genesis is also a work about the relation between man and nature, from large deserts to vast oceans. After Man’s Hand (1993) and Exodus (2000), which were a form of human assessment of the economic and social changes on a planetary scale, Genesis is the third part of Salgado’s long-term exploration of the global issues, and the photographer’s third exhibition at the Musée de l’Elysée, after Other Americas / Sahel, Man is distress in 1987 and Man’s Hand in 1994.

The exhibition, featuring 240 photographs, is divided into five geographical sections, mirroring nature’s functioning: Southern hemisphere, natural sanctuaries, Africa, Northern hemisphere, and Amazonia. These images also travel the world and are presented simultaneously at the Musée de l’Elysée, in Paris and in São Paulo, after London, Toronto, Rome and Rio de Janeiro.

The project Genesis, curated and designed by Lélia Wanick Salgado, receives support from Vale. For the exhibition, the Musée de l'Elysée receives support from Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Holdigaz SA, Loterie
Romande and PKB Privatbank.

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