Fotografiska Tallinn

Opening hours

09:00 - 19:00
09:00 - 19:00
09:00 - 19:00
09:00 - 19:00
09:00 - 19:00
Closed today

Sebastião Salgado

Gold

14 February — 25 October, 2020

The exhibition Gold showcases the iconic photographs Sebastião Salgado took in the Serra Pelada gold mine in Brazil back in 1986. This famous series will be presented in its entirety, gripping viewers with its unique biblical quality and powerful, universal narrative of the human condition.

On the walls of the exhibition area, we can see men of different ages, classes and skin colours climbing on flimsy ladders while carrying heavy, 40-kilo bags. It is easy to believe that they are climbing on each other mistakenly, but no. Instead, this is a tableau of well-oiled, anarchically organised collaboration devised by the gold prospectors themselves. Each plot, measuring three by two metres, was claimed by a man while another financed the actual gold prospecting and any profit was shared equally between them. The heavy, physical work, mining the rock and carrying away the ore, was performed by hired hands who dreamed of being the one who would get to share in a bag filled with gold.

Gold is as much a tribute to the human struggle for a dignified existence as it is a challenge to the status quo: are there truly no better ways to sustainably distribute Earth's resources than brutal capitalism? Whether those resources be people, viewed as a raw material comprising infinitely significant, untapped potential, or our planet's natural world.

"For a decade, it evoked the long-promised El Dorado, but today Brazil's wildest gold rush is merely the stuff of legend, kept alive by a few happy memories, many pained regrets – and photographs," Salgado says.

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