LIGHTS, FLASHES AND ACTION IN THE HEART OF SALAMANCA

From June 13th to 16th, 2019, Salamanca will be the scene of the 4th edition of the Luz y Vanguardias festival, which makes the city a large-scale projection screen for video-mapping works and a meeting place for more innovative art.

Plaza Mayor of Salamanca during the festival of 2018

The idea started four years ago with the desire to turn Salamanca into a focus of artistic attention that went beyond the undeniable historical value of the city. The initiative is a proposal of coexistence between the past and the future, a project based on innovation to open an intercultural dialogue over time using the city itself as a field of work.

In this edition, the festival divides into four sections. First, a program to host specific video-mapping projects created exclusively for the occasion, which will be screened on the façade of the city hall, the new cathedral, the university and the Enrique Estevan bridge. There is also a section for young talents to show the works of students of the University of Salamanca. Third, an international video-art contest involving artists from 14 countries (Germany, Bulgaria, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Japan, Hungary, Italy, Mexico, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom and Spain), whose works will be seen on the facade of the city hall, in the Plaza Mayor. And, finally, a parallel program, "+ Luz", with the collaboration of other agents of contemporary art such as the DA2 contemporary art centre, the Espacio Nuca multidisciplinary space, the Venancio Blanco Foundation and the cultural space La Salchichería. As a novelty, + Luz will add this year the participation of the Museum of Automotive History of Salamanca and the School of Art and Superior of Conservation and Restoration of Salamanca.

For four days, Salamanca becomes an interactive city, full of colours and light. Besides, this year has two exceptional ambassadors as guest artists: the multimedia artist and National Photography Award José Manuel Ballester, and the experimental creator who plays with visual projections, Javier Riera.

Furthermore, this year, the festival has been selected to participate in the international iMap Bucharest contest, which annually selects the best proposals from around the world working in this discipline.

 

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.