Contact sheets: from Margaret Thatcher to A llama in Times Square

Interview to Ernesto Che Guevara in Cuba, 1963. Photo: Rene Burri / Magnum Photos

 

The exhibition shows the contact sheets of 65 of the most outstanding photographers of the agency. It is the perfect occasion to know the details of the creative process and the selection criteria that these authors follow to launch their final work. That’s why having access to this kind of materials is so difficult because they integrate a fund that photographers keep with much zeal and discretion.

 

 

 

A llama in Times Square, New York, 1957. Photo: Inge Morath / Magnum Photos

 

 

Contact sheets are the first print-outs of the negatives. This material was not born to be disseminated, since it takes part of the inner phases of production, selection and decision-making of the photographer. It is the way to choose the best shot from the printed samples of the raw images. Precisely because of that, they present a huge interest for the photography-lovers.

 

 

Margaret Thatcher, Blackpool, the UK, 1981. Photo: Peter Marlow / Magnum Photos

 

 

The exhibition encompasses a very remarkable sample of this material, by gathering some of the most iconic moments of our recent contemporary history. At the same time, it makes possible to the spectator to know the discarded snaps of some of the images more representative of the best photo-journalist of the agency, what can satisfy many people’s curiosity and allows to know a side always hidden to the public.

 

 

 

Protests in Paris, France, May of 1968. Photo: Bruno Barbey / Magnum Photos

 

 

Contacts sheets are displayed along with the image finally chosen, so as every single photograph shapes a brief story in which we can know its real context, the one of the photographer and of the moment captured. Among the authors included in the showing, we might highlight Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, David ‘Chim’ Seymour, Werner Bischof, Marc Riboud, Eve Arnold, René Burri, Jim Goldberg, Susan Meiselas, Hiroji Kubota, Steve McCurry, Jean Gaumy, Paolo Pellegrin or Cristina García Rodero.

 

The CEART opens this Thursday, November 14th in the room A an exhibition dedicated to this master of photography, which will be open to the public until February 9th. The show includes one of the artist's latest projects, focused on the hard work carried out by the miners of Serra Pelada, an open gold mine in the heart of Brazil where employees daily risked their lives.

Immigration, poverty, marginal life, slave labour, man's relationship with the land, the use of natural resources... are issues that have always fascinated Salgado. From the beginning of his career as a photographer, his work has opted to give visibility to the most disadvantaged groups and to create with his images a vivid and impressive visual story without fakes. With a raw black and white, this author's work transits between photo-reportage and naturalistic photography.

And the idea that permeates all his work is human dignity. Salgado portrays employees, miners and gatherers from a purely humanistic approach that wants to value their integrity, their strength and their resilience.

“If you photograph a human, so that he is not represented in a noble way, there is no reason to take the picture. That is my way of seeing things.”

Salgado entered this discipline long after completing his studies in economics between Brazil and the United States, and a doctorate in statistics in France. But in 1973 his life took a turn, and he decided to start his career as a photographer. He achieved to work at the Gamma Agency and Magnum Photos for more than 15 years until in 1994 he founded his own agency “Amazonas Imagen”.

With the “Gold” project, the photographer portrays a harsh reality that takes place in the Serra Pelada mine, a name given to a totally devastated and anarchically excavated mining enclave, the world's largest open-pit gold mine, through which more than 50,000 people have passed. In the heat of the legends about the mysterious “El Dorado”, the enthusiasm for this precious metal led to the development of strenuous exploitation practices for the workers and to originate tales of grief and glory, of human victory and defeat between the soil, the tunnels and the cargo baskets.

The CEART exhibition brings together Salgado's full portfolio in his characteristical black and white and large-format photographs that leave no one indifferent.