Edward Burtynsky: Exploring the Residual Landscape
From his website:
"Nature transformed through industry is a predominant theme in my work. I set course to intersect with a contemporary view of the great ages of man; from stone, to minerals, oil, transportation, silicon, and so on. To make these ideas visible I search for subjects that are rich in detail and scale yet open in their meaning. "
"Recycling yards, mine tailings, quarries and refineries are all places that are outside of our normal experience, yet we partake of their output on a daily basis."
"These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear. We are drawn by desire - a chance at good living, yet we are consciously or unconsciously aware that the world is suffering for our success."
"Our dependence on nature to provide the materials for our consumption and our concern for the health of our planet sets us into an uneasy contradiction. For me, these images function as reflecting pools of our times."
One reviewer said Burtynsky's film Manufactured Landscapes: “Taken as a whole, Manufactured Landscapes is a mesmerizing work of visual oncology, a witness to a cancer that’s visible only at a distance but entwined with the DNA of everything we buy and everywhere we shop.”
"...in a way when you look at a work of art there isn't a narrative, you are left to your own devices you are left of your own baggage to complete the meaning of that image..."
"This is a new form of epic history painting. Turning his camera lens to a fever dream, Burtynsky forges a new mythology for the 21st century from the lexicon of realism. With stunning detail, from improbable perches, in strange and beautiful colors, these pictures show their subjects with clinical accuracy, and with definitive force. But they also tell a parallel and more inchoate tale: a critique of civilization, and a foretelling of human ends."—Paul Roth