Sebastião Salgado “Gold”

On view through 18 July 2020 at Galerie Bene Taschen, Cologne

“The giant gold mine, Serra Pelada, was right before me. When I reached the edge of that enormous hole, my hair stood on end. I had never experienced such a situation. In a split second I saw unfolding before me the history of mankind. The building of the pyramids, the Tower of Babel, the mines of King Solomon. Not a single machine could be heard. All you could hear was the murmur of 50,000 people in a big hole…” (Sebastião Salgado)

For the first time in Germany, Galerie Bene Taschen presents a solo exhibition curated from Sebastião Salgado’s haunting and unforgettable cycle “Gold” (1986). A show full of archaic power and density, full of cruel poetry and brutal reality.

The photographs Salgado took in and in the face of this situation reveals it all in tense compression at the abyss: greed, death, betrayal, work, and despair. A gathering of values and words that not only reflect Western society, but are also exemplary for the particular conditions in Brazil, especially with regard to the exploitation of nature and the working class.