The Anthropocene Project

AIPAD Exposure

AIPAD member galleries are supporting photographer Edward Burtynsky in enriching the current discourse on our changing planet.

Burtynsky is well known for his large format photographs of industrial landscapes that are on display in more than 50 museums, including the Guggenheim Museum, the National Gallery of Canada and the Bibliotheque Nationale, Paris. His latest project, The Anthropocene Project, is a multidisciplinary body of work he completed with collaborators Nicholas de Pencier and Jennifer Baichwal. The project combines art, film, virtual and augmented reality, and scientific research to investigate human influences on the state, dynamic and future of the Earth.

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REVIEW — Edward Burtynsky: The Human Signature

By Chris Waywell
TimeOut London


Edward Burtynsky’s new show is dominated by a six-metre-long photograph of a quarry. A massive orange digger sits in the middle, but it looks like a toy in its surroundings. Burtynsky fans’ spidey senses go on high alert: EB is showing us the rape of the earth by man.

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REVIEW – Edward Burtynsky: The Human Signature

By Matthew Rudman
Studio International

In July 2017, construction workers were digging the foundations for a new fire and police station in the town of Thornton, Colorado, when they uncovered something unexpected: the fossilised remains of a triceratops dating back 66m years. “A lot of times these will be ploughed up and they won’t be recognised,” the curator of a local natural history museum said. Humans have been manipulating the natural world since the dawn of civilisation, but the past 100 years has seen an exponential and uncontrolled increase in disruption and destruction of delicately balanced ecosystems and geologies previously undisturbed for millions of years. We are all-too familiar with the consequences: crumbling ice caps, bleached coral reefs and rising sea levels threatening to engulf our settlements with acidified water.

In the mid-20th century, hundreds of atmospheric nuclear weapons tests were conducted, coating the Earth in a thin layer of radioactive particles. Many scientists are proposing using this layer of toxic dust as the indelible signature of a new geological age, the Anthropocene, an era defined by the impact of humanity on the Earth’s ecology. Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky (b1955) has long been preoccupied with the troubled intersection of human industry and natural ecosystems, and his most recent output, The Human Signature, on show at the Flowers Gallery, London, is part of his recently launched Anthropocene project, which explores the various manifestations of human mark-making on our planet.

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Edward Burtynsky "I’ve become hardened like a war photographer"

By Ari Stein
52 Insights Magazine

He’s spent most of his career unravelling this thread of human destruction, so much so we now have a word for it, The Anthropocene.

As a photographer he seeks to capture scenes of environmental devastation to educate and inspire us into action, the question constantly arising throughout his work is how did we get to this point? This is a pertinent question that motivates Edward to climb, rail and ascend some of the worlds farthest reaching places. Deploying his arsenal of drones, helicopters and assistants, he magically converts man-altered landscapes into images of sublime beauty.

What the world has gained from Burtynsky’s shock and awe images is the ability to piece together our every day withdrawal from the earth and put it into a whole new perspective. There is no doubt that our earth is experiencing a tipping point but only through the work of people like Edward Burtynsky can we be truly aware of what we are doing. In this exclusive interview, we sit down with Edward to ask not only how 35 years of shooting have changed him as a person but what has he learnt from doing it.

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Striking photos of human scars on Earth

By Cameron Laux
BBC Culture

The Canadian photographer Edward Burtynsky is a master of the post-industrial sublime. His sweeping point of view is, at the very least, ambivalent. His shots, most recently taken from the coolest possible standpoint of a helicopter and sometimes a satellite, are at first sight surreal and glorious, but they have an ominous documentary undertow.

His large-format photos aestheticise mining, deforestation, industrial waste and decay, monumental piles of garbage, plastic, rubber; expanses of new and decommissioned equipment so vast that they look like crystalline formations; dense human settlements which from an Olympian standpoint look like creeping mould or infestations.

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The Human Signature: Edward Burtynsky's Anthropocene – in pictures

The Guardian

Burtynsky’s unsettling large-scale images of industrial-scale extraction, urbanisation and deforestation reveal humanity’s devastating impact on the planet

The exhibition will run at Flowers Gallery Londonfrom 17 Oct - 24 Nov.

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Edward Burtynsky: the photographer finding art in rivers of toxic waste

By Alistair Sooke
The Telegraph

Ahead of a new exhibition of his work, the Canadian photographer tells Alastair Sooke about the toxic allure of the world's most perilous places.

‘I’ve been to China a dozen times,” says the 61-year-old landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky, “but I’ve never visited the Great Wall.” He smiles. “I don’t go to tourist places. I enter into worlds behind chain-link fences and barbed wire.”

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