Manufactured Landscapes

Iberia Quarries #2, Marmorose EFA Co., Bencatel, Portugal, 2006. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Photo essay by photographer Edward Burtynsky

 

For over 25 years, Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky has documented how our landscape is being transformed by industry. Both beautiful and horrifying, his large-format images bring up unsettling questions about production, consumption, progress and sustainable living.

The following photographs, selected from his series “Quarries,” “China,” and “Ships,” provide a global perspective on the cycle of extraction, production and recycling. They provide a visual journey through the quarries of Vermont; China’s manufacturing conglomerate; the construction of the Three Gorges Dam and destruction of the nearby cities and towns that displaced over 1.2 million people; and ultimately, to the manual dismantling of oil tanks in Bangladesh.

They open a troubling window onto our modern existence and its consequences.

 

QUARRIES

 

Rock of Ages #39, Active Section, E.L. Smith Quarry, Barre, Vermont, 1991. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Rock of Ages #4, Abandoned Section, Adam-Pirie Quarry, Barre, Vermont, 1991. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Rock of Ages #15, Active Section, E.L. Smith Quarry, Barre, Vermont, 1991. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

CHINA | MANUFACTURING

 

Manufacturing #6A and 6B, Hongqingting Shoe Factory, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, 2004. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

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Manufacturing #6A, Hongqingting Shoe Factory, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, 2004 (detail of original diptych). © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Manufacturing #6B, Hongqingting Shoe Factory, Wenzhou, Zhejiang Province, 2004 (detail of original diptych). © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Manufacturing #10A and 10B, Cankun Factory, Xiamen City, 2005 (detail of original diptych). © Edward Burtynsky.

 

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Manufacturing #10A, Cankun Factory, Xiamen City, 2005 (detail of original diptych). © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Manufacturing #10B, Cankun Factory, Xiamen City, 2005 (detail of original diptych). © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Manufacturing #17, Deda Chicken Processing Plant, Dehui City, Jilin Province, 2005. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Manufacturing #11, Youngor Textiles, Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, 2005. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

CHINA | THREE GORGES DAM

 

Dam #6, Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2005. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Feng Jie #3 & 4, Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2002. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

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Feng Jie #3, Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2002 (detail of original diptych). © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Feng Jie #4, Three Gorges Dam Project, Yangtze River, 2002 (detail of original diptych). © Edward Burtynsky.

 

CHINA | RECYCLING

 

China Recycling #24, Cankun Aluminum, Xiamen City, Fujian Province, 2005. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

SHIPS | SHIPBREAKING

 

Shipbreaking #4, Chittagong, Bangladesh 2000. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Shipbreaking #5, Chittagong, Bangladesh 2000. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Shipbreaking #8, Chittagong, Bangladesh 2000. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Shipbreaking #11, Chittagong, Bangladesh 2000. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Shipbreaking #52, Chittagong, Bangladesh 2000. © Edward Burtynsky.

 

Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His imagery explores the intricate link between industry and nature, combining the raw elements of mining, quarrying, manufacturing, shipping, oil production and recycling into eloquent, highly expressive visions that find beauty and humanity in the most unlikely of places. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over fifty major museums around the world.
www.edwardburtynsky.com | @edwardburtynsky



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