Edward Burtynsky: London Exhibition and Film

0

Edward Burtynsky Shipbreaking #13, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2000 © Edward Burtynsky Courtesy Nicholas Metivier, Toronto/ Flowers, London

London is fortunate to have a crash course in the epic photography project of Edward Burtynsky at the Photographer’s Gallery and the London Festival of Photography

Anyone who was recently “wowed” by Oil, the Edward Burtynsky show at The Photographers’ Gallery will be marking their diaries for June 19. As part of the London Photography Festival Tate Modern are showing Jennifer Baichwal’s award-winning documentary on the Canadian photographer, whose epic photography visualises our relationship to energy.

Burtynsky’s photography collects shapes. He has the eye of a graphic designer/sociologist/land artist, his images explore how we redesign our landscape, our urban spaces according to our energy needs.

Edward Burtynsky Breezewood, Pennsylvania, USA 2008 © Edward Burtynsky Courtesy Nicholas Metivier Toronto/ Flowers London

Planet Earth in Burtynsky’s lens has been remoulded and reconstructed, with rubber, the architecture of signage and the hypnotic concrete vectors of mega-highways.

Edward Burtynsky Highway #1, Intersection 105 & 110, Los Angeles, California, USA,2003 © Edward Burtynsky Courtesy Nicholas Metivier, Toronto/ Flowers, London

In his images, highways, and even people, are distribution systems for oil, a kind of Energy info-graphic which collapse in the chaos if its own feedback loops.

Edward Burtynsky Oil Fields #22, Cold Lake, Alberta, Canada 2001 © Edward Burtynsky Courtesy Nicholas Metivier, Toronto/Flower, London

Pastoral isolated landscapes become canvases for the piping that redraws the landscape, grafting new patterns onto the natural world.

dward Burtynsky Oil Refineries #22, St. John, New Brunswick, Canada 1999 © Edward Burtynsky Courtesy Nicholas Metivier Toronto/ Flowers London

And then there are the glowing temples, the sources of energy transformation, industrial cathedrals built to collect, refine and purify energy,

Edward Burtynsky Oxford Tire Pile, #4, Westley, California, USA 1999 © Edward Burtynsky Courtesy Nicholas Metivier, Toronto/ Flowers, London

Burtynsky’s work is the opposite of oil production. Whereas oil production and distribution is about extraction, drilling down and the waste that follows from that, Burtynsky’s photography is about surfaces, recycling brutal information into images that attract, seduce and probe our dependence on unsustainable sources of our material well-being.

The Edward Burtynsky show at The Photographers’ Gallery in London until July 1

Edward Burtynsky Manufactured Landscapes, a film by Jennifer Baichwal is on at the London Festival of Photography on June 19

For more on Edward Burtynsky

Share.

About Author

Leave A Reply