Triumph Gallery and the interdisciplinary project Department of Research Arts present a joint project of Andrey Gordasevich, a Russian photographer, and Nils Krauer, a Swiss sociologist. The project entitled Quickgold will be a part of a parallel program of Photobiennale 2016.
Quickgold is a story about the origin of gold as a symbol of wealth and its connection to the human labor, condition and identity. It is based on a daily life of people, who are involved in gold mining and processing in Peruvian jungle in Madre de Dios province, but it also has a broader meaning.
The study took form of a bilingual longread , produced in collaboration with Tilda Publishing (). It allows to supplement the photographic reconstruction of gold-miners’ lives with texts, videos, handprints and personal belongings documented in a studio and music from Peru. These elements of the narrative as well as personal artifacts will be on show at the exhibition.
The word Quickgold is a derivative from "quicksilver", or mercury, used in gold processing. Gold which we all know in shape of high-tech and costly objects comes from ordinarily looking soil and gets its shine virtually shaking off the mud — all with the help of bare hands. Artisanal and small scale miners produce up to 20% of the worldwide gold volume, but this type of mining creates 90% of jobs in the industry for more than 100 million people. Small-scale miners are often poverty driven and characterized by high level of marginalization. Working in an informal or illegal mine gives them an opportunity to earn more money. However, uncontrolled exploitation of mineral resources often leads to social and environmental hazards.
"Behind the scene of gold production we trace the lives of miners, their stories and beliefs, trying to stay away from condemnation or justification and suggesting that behind the gold production process there is a human life, worthwhile to observe and understand." (Andrey Gordasevich)
The authors are grateful to Dmitry Ivanov for his assistance in the implementation of the project.