Sebastião Salgado - SCENT OF A DREAM. A journey in the world of coffee

On show in Venice, Sebastião Salgado’s images for illy. Curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado.

6 May – 27 September 2015
Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa
71/C Piazza San Marco, Venice

For the first time, from 6 May to 27 September 2015, Sebastião Salgado’s exhibition for illy, entitled “SCENT OF A DREAM. A journey in the world of coffee”, will be shown at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa in Venice, in association with Contrasto. The exhibition is curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado.

Presented at the Foundation’s gallery in Piazza San Marco, the exhibition consists of a selection of 80 of the most representative images from the photographic journey which the great maestro undertook in partnership with illy to pay tribute to the men and women of coffee plantations: a journey involving people, landscapes and a harmonious relationship with the earth illustrated through highly expressive, evocative and emotive, black and white pictures. The company’s collaboration with Salgado, which began in 2002 in Brazil, demonstrates the attention that illy has always paid to issues regarding sustainable development, respect for local cultures and love for the earth. This concern is expressed through illy’s constant dialogue with growers: a relationship based on exchange and growth, and which focuses on product quality as well as improving living standards for the growers themselves and their communities. The incomparable vision of one of the greatest contemporary photographers has captured these values in images of the cultivation, harvesting, drying and selection of the precious beans.

“SCENT OF A DREAM. A journey in the world of coffee” thus aims to be the greatest reportage ever produced on the world of coffee, considering that ten of the countries from which illy buys coffee were involved in the project: Brazil, India, Indonesia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Colombia, China, Costa Rica, El Salvador and Tanzania.

The exhibition at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa – Piazza San Marco, Venice –
will be the first of several shows that will be organised over the next three years in the United States and Asia.

The press preview announcing the show will take place on Tuesday 5th May 2015 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm at Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Piazza San Marco 71/c – Venice, and will be attended by Sebastião Salgado.
To mark this event, the Italian book entitled “PROFUMO DI SOGNO. Viaggio nel mondo del caffè” published by Contrasto will be presented. Using the images created by the great humanist photographer and text by Andrea Illy, Luis Sepulveda, Angela Vettese and of course, Sebastião Salgado, the book tells the story of the journey through the coffee plantations. The book is curated by Lélia Wanick Salgado, the photographer's wife.

The exhibition at the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa is part of a wider project that illycaffè will present to the public in its entirety through a series of events and initiatives in the second half of 2015 and which will take place, not only in Venice, but also in Milan and Trieste.

Born in Brazil and driven by his passion to document images from around the world, Salgado is well acquainted with the lives of coffee growers, having observed them since he was a child: born in 1944 into a large family from the Brazilian interior state of Minas Gerais, he grew up watching his father transport coffee to the ports along the coast, later economist at the International Coffee Organization, has chosen over the years to become a witness of sustainable development of the planet.
After studying Economics, Salgado began his career as a professional photographer in 1973 in Paris, where he worked with the photographic agencies Sygma, Gamma and Magnum Photos until, in 1994, along with Lélia Wanick Salgado, he founded Amazonas images, an agency created exclusively for his work. He has travelled to over 100 countries to create his photographic projects. Besides appearing in various international publications, many of his projects have been presented in books such as Other Americas (1986), Sahel: l’homme en détresse (1986), Sahel: el fin del camino (1988), Workers (1993), Terra (1997), Migrations and Portraits (2000) and Africa (2007).

Touring exhibitions of his work continue to be presented all over the world.
Sebastião Salgado has received numerous, prestigious, photographic awards in recognition of his work.
In addition, he has been appointed as Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF and honorary member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
In 2004, Sebastião Salgado began a project entitled Genesis, which he presented via numerous exhibitions throughout the world. The collection of images was conceived as a potential pathway to rediscovering humanity’s true identity within nature. Since the early Nineties, Lélia and Sebastião have worked together on restoring a section of the forest that runs along the Atlantic side of Brazil. In 1998 they succeeded in transforming the area into a nature reserve and they also founded the Instituto Terra. Illycaffè support the activities of Instituto Terra with the aim to conserve and restore a section of the forest that runs along the Atlantic (Mata), one of the most important ecosystem in the world.
He now lives in Paris.


Exhibition details

SCENT OF A DREAM. A journey in the world of coffee
Author: Sebastião Salgado
Curated by: Lélia Wanick Salgado
Promoted by: illycaffè
Office: Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Piazza San Marco 71/C – Venice
Duration: 6 May – 27 September 2015
Opening hours: Wednesday – Sunday,  10:30 am –  05:30 pm
Admission: free


Book details 

Profumo di sogno. Viaggio nel mondo del caffè
Author: Sebastião Salgado
Editing, planning and design: Lélia Wanick Salgado
Texts by: Luis Sepulveda, Andrea Illy and Angela Vettese
Publisher: Contrasto
Language: Italian
Format: 24.3 x 35.5 cm, 320 pages
Photographs: 150 approximately
Cover price: € 59.00
Available at:  all Italian bookshops, illyshop stores,,, the exhibition bookshop and the Coffee Cluster at Milano Expo 2015

illycaffè, with headquarters in Trieste, produces and markets a unique blend of espresso coffee and is the leading brand in the high-end segment of the coffee market. illycaffè is the official partner of Expo 2015 and it takes charge of the content project and management, the exhibitions and the events associated to coffee, in the Coffee Cluster common area. More than 6 million cups of illy espresso coffee are enjoyed every day. Sold in more than 140 countries around the world, illy is available in more than 100,000 of the world’s best restaurants and cafés. espressamente illy, the Italian-style coffee franchising chain, is present with 230 outlets in more than 30 countries to date. To grow and spread the culture of coffee, the company has established Coffee University, a center of excellence that offers full training in all aspects of coffee theory and practice to growers, baristas and coffee lovers. Globally, the company employs around 1,050 people and, in 2013, recorded consolidated sales of € 373.9 million. illycaffé buys green coffee directly from growers of the best Arabica through partnerships based on sustainable development. Working with the best growers in the world – in Brazil, Central America, India, Africa and China – the Trieste-based company develops long-term relationships that transfer know-how and technology to growers while paying above the market rate for their production.

Fondazione Bevilacqua La MasaThe Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa was founded over a century ago thanks to the wishes of a generous and forward-thinking woman who was able to foresee the goals and current prerogatives of Italian institutions involved in promoting the work of emerging artists. At the end of a life largely dedicated to supporting the then newly formed Italian nation, Felicita Bevilacqua (1822-1899), widow of General Giuseppe La Masa, decided to leave the Palazzo Ca' Pesaro to the City of Venice on the condition that it should be used to assist the "young artists who are often excluded from the main exhibitions".  In the last ten years at the BLM, 1,200 artists have shown their work. There have been 218 exhibitions, over 50 catalogues published and hundreds of posters, invitations and brochures. There are three main aspects to the Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa's programme:

- Organising exhibitions for living artists of international fame, to provide significant opportunities for engaging with important contemporary artists to the local area, making it part of the circuit of international exhibition centres, such as the Pompidou Centre in Paris and the Whitechapel Gallery, as well as places that host artistic residencies, like the Camden Art Centre in London and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris.

- Activities dedicated to young artists, like the Mostra Collettiva Annuale (Annual Collective Show), now in its 98th year, the granting of bursaries to the most promising young artists, the annual bursary holders' exhibition and the awarding of 12 Artist's Studios for a period of one year. In addition, there are individual and collective shows for young artists organised in association with universities, academies, exhibition centres and other Italian and foreign institutions.

- Information and promotion activities, such as l'Archivio Giovani Artisti (the Young Artists Archive), created in association with the Viafarini centre in Milan and the library specialising in contemporary art. Furthermore, BLM also edits many publications alongside the institution's historic archive. The Fondazione organises seminars, workshops, conventions and meetings that bring together internationally renowned artis