Friday, 18 May 2012

Burtynsky: Oil - Photographers' Gallery

Burtynsky: Oil is the opening exhibition in the refurbished Photographers' Gallery. Closed for nearly 2 years the gallery reopens on 19 May in a building expanded by a 2-storey extension designed by O'Donnell and Tuomey.
Edward Burtynsky:
“In 1997 I had what I refer to as my oil epiphany. It occurred to me that the vast, human-altered landscapes that I pursued and photographed for over twenty years were only made possible by the discovery of oil…”
This exhibition shows three sections from Burtynsky’s series OIL: Extraction and Refinement, Transportation and Motor Culture and The End of Oil. The works depict landscapes scarred by the extraction of oil, and the cities and suburban sprawl defined by its use. He also eloquently addresses the coming end of oil, as we face its rising cost and dwindling availability. (From The Photographers' Gallery website).

Watch a video of Burtynsky talking about his work and a 2006 film by Jennifer Baichwal: Edward Burtynsky: Manufactured Landscapes. (The first 8 minutes of the film is a continuous tracking shot through a vast Chinese factory; read an article about the film.)

Edward Burtynsky, Socar Oil Fields #6, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2006
Edward Burtynsky, Alberta Oil Sands #2, Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada, 2007
Edward Burtynsky, Shipbreaking #13, Chittagong, Bangladesh, 2000
Edward Burtynsky, Highway #1, Intersection 105 & 110, Los Angeles, California, USA, 2003
Edward Burtynsky, Oil Refineries #22, St John, New Brunswick, Canada, 1999
Edward Burtynsky, Socar Oil Fields 1a, Baku, Azerbaijan, 2006

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