Goldmine Serra Pelada, State Pará, Brasil (The Number Eight), from the Series "Uncertain Grace", Sebastião Salgado
Sebastião Salgado
Goldmine Serra Pelada, State Pará, Brasil (The Number Eight), from the Series "Uncertain Grace"
DE
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Sebastião Salgado

Goldmine Serra Pelada, State Pará, Brasil (The Number Eight), from the Series "Uncertain Grace", 1986


Blatt
120.0 x 80.0 cm
Physical Description
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
Inventory Number
DZF 145
Acquisition
DZ BANK Art Collection at the Städel Museum
Status
Not exhibited

Texts

About the Work

It is as if - like the doomed Saviour - all of humanity is being made to drag its own cross to Golgotha. That is how the camera of the Brazilian artist has captured the teeming mass of workers at the Serra Pelada gold mine. The world documented by Sebastião Salgado two thousand years after the beginning of the Christian era is one of biblical plagues, but none of the many thousands of miners, none of their exploited fellow workers throughout the world have any prospect of salvation. Gazing down into the mine at the faceless human chain, Salgado interprets the 'Figure Eight' (1986) as a loop of hopelessness and despair. Individual suffering figures stand out only in their state of extreme exhaustion. Salgado, who has a doctorate in economics, fled to Paris in 1973 to escape the military dictatorship, and since then has travelled the globe in the footsteps of migrants. His work has added a mythical dimension to picture journalism. The workers depicted here remain trapped between fear and trance in the nightmares of their real existence. The snapshot records their resignation to their fate. In slavish labour, in wars and in natural catastrophes, Salgado's lens grants them a dying expression of dignity.

Work Data

Basic Information

Title
Goldmine Serra Pelada, State Pará, Brasil (The Number Eight), from the Series "Uncertain Grace" (Original Title)
Photographer
Period Produced
Object Type
Physical Description
Gelatin silver print on baryta paper
Material
Technique

Property and Acquisition

Institution
Administration
Collection
Picture Copyright
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2019
Acquisition
DZ BANK Art Collection at the Städel Museum

Work Content

Motifs and References

Iconclass

Primary
  • 61D(SERRA PELADA) geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (SERRA PELADA) (SERRA PELADA)
  • 61D(BRAZIL) geographical names of countries, regions, mountains, rivers, etc. (BRAZIL) (BRAZIL)
  • 25D311 opencast mine; strip mining
  • 31D14 adult man
Secondary

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Last import

02.12.2019