For the first time in Europe, from September 3rd – November 1st, 2015, Palazzo della Ragione Photography presents Edward Burtynsky. Acqua Shock, the project of the Canadian photographer (St. Catharines, Ontario, 1955) dedicated to the water.
The program of Palazzo della Ragione, the new Milan showroom fully dedicated to photography and opened in June, 2014 in the heart of the city, is enriched by the passionate photographic work that Edward Burtynsky devoted to the water, our primary resource, to its existence in nature and its exploitation by mankind.
The exhibition Edward Burtynsky. Acqua Shock is promoted and produced by the City of Milan – Culture, Palazzo della Ragione, Civita, Contrast and GAmm Giunti in cooperation with Admira and curated by Enrica Viganò.
The exhibition is part of Expo in the city, the program of events linked to the cultural life of Milan during the six months of the Universal Exhibition.
Edward Burtynsky, a great protagonist of international photography, has always been recording the consequences of our progress upon the planet. Through extensive researches and long journeys, he discovered and told seemingly distant situations, yet actually closely linked to the future of mankind.
Natural resources are the core of his work, and after the images of fascinating quarries and the magnificent series dedicated to oil, in recent years he focused on the primary source of life on earth.
Water Shock collects 60 photographs divided into seven chapters – Gulf of Mexico, Devastations, Control, Agriculture, Aquaculture, Shores, Springs – the analysis of all matters related to the origin and the use of water: from river deltas to step wells, from aquatic crops to irrigation with center pivot system, from dehydrated landscapes to indispensable sources.
“Awesome images – says Enrica Viganò – mirror of a truth we do not want to face: the most precious liquid is not eternal! The extraordinary beauty of the scenarios pictured by Burtynsky invites us to reflect, after having enchanted our eyes with the charm of the sublime.”
During the show, the documentary “Where I Stand” (10 min.) produced by Studio Burtynsky will be screened, to involve visitors in the production process of these magnificent images. The artist, who has always been photographing wide landscapes, over thirty years of career wanted to upgrade the technique of his shots and now he reveals us his secrets. For the water project Burtynsky made extensive use of drones, helicopters and structures, in order to benefit from aerial views of his subjects.
Edward Burtynsky will attend the Water Festival in Milan from October 5th – October 9th, 2015 at Castello Sforzesco.
Edward Burtynsky is known as one of Canada’s most respected photographers. His remarkable photographic depictions of global industrial landscapes are included in the collections of over sixty major museums around the world, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Museum of Modern Art, the Guggenheim Museum in New York, the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in California.
Burtynsky was born in 1955 of Ukrainian heritage in St. Catharines, Ontario. He received his BAA in Photography/ Media Studies from Ryerson University in 1982, and in 1985 founded Toronto Image Works, a darkroom rental facility, custom photo laboratory, digital imaging and new media computer-training centre catering to all levels of Toronto’s art community.
Early exposure to the sites and images of the General Motors plant in his hometown helped to formulate the development of his photographic work. His imagery explores the collective impact we as a species are having on the surface of the planet; an inspection of the human systems we’ve imposed onto natural landscapes.
Exhibitions include Water (2013) at the New Orleans Museum of Art & Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans, Louisiana (international touring exhibition), Oil (2009) at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington D.C. (five-year international touring show), China (toured 2005 – 2008), Manufactured Landscapes at the National Gallery of Canada (touring from 2003 – 2005), and Before the Flood (2003). Burtynsky’s visually compelling works are currently being exhibited in solo and group exhibitions across Canada, the United States, Europe and Asia.
As an active lecturer on photographic art, Burtynsky’s speaking engagements have been held at the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., George Eastman House in Rochester, NY, The Canadian Center for Architecture in Montreal, the Art Gallery of Ontario, the TED conference, Idea City, and Ryerson University in Toronto. His images appear in numerous periodicals each year including Canadian Art, Art in America, The Smithsonian Magazine, Harper’s Magazine, Flash Art, Blind Spot, Art Forum, Saturday Night, National Geographic and the New York Times.
Edward Burtynsky’s distinctions include the TED Prize, The Outreach award at the Rencontres d’Arles, the Roloff Beny Book award, and the Rogers Best Canadian Film Award. He sits on the board of directors for CONTACT: Toronto’s International Photography Festival, and The Ryerson Gallery and Research Center. In 2006 he was awarded the title of Officer of the Order of Canada and currently holds six honorary doctorate degrees.