Barry Salzman art

Barry Salzman’s Artistic Exploration of Human Atrocities

It is a pleasure to present the profound and transformative exhibition titled ‘How We See The World’ by Barry Salzman. His decade-long project not only showcases the visual power of art but also challenges us to address deep ethical questions in our collective history. Salzman’s focus on landscapes marked by human atrocities urges us to grapple with the complexities of trauma and memory, especially related to genocide.

Born in Zimbabwe and educated in South Africa, he moved to the United States at the age of 21, an event that marked the beginning of an extraordinary artistic journey. Influenced by his teenage years documenting racially segregated areas during apartheid, Salzman’s work reflects a commitment to understanding social inequalities, utilizing a multidisciplinary approach with a Master of Fine Arts from the School of Visual Arts in New York and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

The exhibition urges us to recognize that landscapes, like humanity, bear witness to everything, acting as the physical arena where tragic human dramas unfold. However, nature rejuvenates the earth through seasonal rebirths. Through Salzman’s evocative photography, we are encouraged to embrace lessons drawn from history, fostering collective determination to build a future free from the shadows of our shared past.

Salzman’s project, “How We See The World,” employs abstraction to portray landscapes scarred by historical atrocities, offering an aesthetic journey to the metaphorical witness of landscapes enduring the effects of time and human activity. With landscapes from Namibia, Poland, Ukraine, Rwanda, Bosnia and Herzegovina, historical sites of transgressions and death camps, intentional lack of specificity challenges traditional methods of dissemination, countering precise narratives of photojournalism.

how we see the world Barry Salzman

Salzman’s technique of a single exposure, without composition or digital manipulations, is fundamental to the project’s concept. Through abstraction tools and the creation of ‘veiled views,’ he exposes the landscape in layers, inviting viewers to reflect on complexities, varied interpretations, and evoked memories. Salzman’s approach conveys the universality of trauma, emphasizing that these poignant sites could be anywhere and resonate with our unfulfilled promise of ‘never again.’

Contemplating the profound impact of his work, echoes of human atrocities find resonance in biblical narratives like Cain and Abel, underscoring the importance of maintaining persistent memory. In the fabric of our DNA lies the inherent capacity to learn, forgive, and come to terms with the past, a theme subtly woven into Salzman’s evocative photography. The earth, a silent witness to preceding life, absorbs these experiences, providing sustenance for the future. This perpetual cycle inspires greater determination to prioritize peace, tolerance, and harmony.


Opening: April 13th, 2024 at 12.00 h
13.04.24 – 13.06.24

Suburbia Contemporary
Carrer de Valencia 345. 08009 – Barcelona.
Free Entry

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