Photographs by Edward Burtynsky. Text by Michael Torosian.
Yale University Press, New Haven, 2003. 160 pp., 64 color illustrations, 11x13".
Once again, Yale University Press has given the photography community a book of magnificent work. Using large-format color negatives, Burtynsky brings the rigor and grandiosity of architectural photography to his subject matter, an in-depth exploration of those vistas where the human touch-the human will and desire to produce goods-has had an undeniable impact. Marble quarries and nickel mines are sites of the extraction of raw materials, and densified scrap metal dumps and coastal shipbreaking grounds are places of repository. These are all presented in succession, each as riveting as the next. Burtynsky has photographed these places with care and mesmerizing exactitude, a blend of the objectivity of the Bechers and the lyricism of Elger Esser, but with a decidedly North American palate. Definitely one of the best books this year.
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