More than just a photography exhibition, the MAXXI hosts a political manifesto with “Amazônia”, from Sebastião Salgado
More than just a photography exhibition, the Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo di Roma (MAXXI) hosts a political manifesto with “Amazônia”, from Sebastião Salgado.
The Brazilian artist settled in with indigenous populations in the Amazon for several weeks to photograph different groups living in the region and to capture the richness of the Amazon rainforest and its ways of life. The exhibition is the result of six years of work, with images that show the immensity and biodiversity of the forest, serving as a warning for society to become more concerned about this ecosystem — which is at risk of disappearing.
Salgado proposes to the audience an experience inside the Brazilian rainforest. The immersive atmosphere is created by the low lighting, which imitates the dense forest, and a soundtrack composed by the French composer Jean-Michel Jarre, with sounds recorded in the forest. The noise of the animals, the trees moving in the wind, the water running through the mountains, and the singing of local indigenous communities set the tone for the exhibition.
The exhibition, which was curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, the photographer’s wife and work partner, has over 200 images and is divided into two parts: one dedicated to the environment and landscapes, and the other to the indigenous peoples. The first section is composed of photographs of forest vegetation, rivers, mountains and natural phenomena — such as tropical storms and the “flying rivers”, which happen when a large amount of water vapor gets under the surface of the forest. The alternation of panoramic and immersed photos creates a realistic atmosphere, making the public feel as though they are part of that moment.
Regarding indigenous populations, Salgado portrayed peoples such as the Awá-guajá, who are considered the most threatened tribe on the planet; the Yawanawá, who regained control of their own lands and the dissemination of their culture; and the Korubo, who were out of contact with the outside world until an expedition in which the photographer was part of, in 2017. Salgado did not mask the locals. He demonstrates through the photos how they live, eat and dress, in addition to showing the importance of the tribe as a family and its rituals.
In this immersive experience surrounded by the jungle, the visitors have the opportunity to engage with the lush forest vegetation and the daily lives of native populations. With this exhibit, the photographer invites the public to reflect on the region’s ecological problems and what society must do to fight its destruction and preserve this important ecosystem, rich in biodiversity and culture. The images of the Brazilian natural paradise made by Salgado show his passion for the art of photography and demonstrate his commitment to portraying such beauty.
The exhibition is a testament to what still exists in the region, but which is in danger of disappearing in the not-too-distant future. In order for life and nature represented by Salgado to overcome destruction and depredation, it is necessary that human beings around the planet participate together in its protection.
The exhibition in Rome is the only stop of the international tour in Italy, and can be visited until February 13, 2022.
Till 13 February 2022
MAXXI – Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo
Via Guido Reni, 4a
11 am – 7 pm
entry fee €10-12