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The 10 best books on architecture that are always worth coming back to. NArchitekTURA recommends

22 of May '20

2. "Burtynsky. Water"

Author: Edward Burtynsky
Publisher: Steidl
Göttingen 2013

Edward Burtynsky
„Burtynsky. Water”


Edward Burtynsky is a Canadian photographer who creates large-format series illustrating human impact on the environment. The composition, scale and precision of the photographs he takes are awe-inspiring, while their subject matter and broader context are already rather worrying and concerned about the state of our planet. After the series "Tailings", "Shipbreaking" "China", "Quarries", "Mines" and "Oil", the artist took up the subject of water. In the book "Water," Burtynski tells through photographs (taken in the United States, Canada, Mexico, China, India, the Netherlands, Spain and Iceland, among others) where water comes from, how we use it, distribute it, store it, but also waste it in huge quantities.

Burtynsky's photographs (mostly aerial) show remote springs, ancient wells, terraced rice fields, regulated rivers, floating villages, mass bathing rituals, and even the transformation of desert fragments for rapidly growing cities. The artist also illustrates various elements of water-related infrastructure, such as the giant hydroelectric dams in China, or the vast irrigation systems in North America. The photos are accompanied by comments describing the "second bottom" of these visually beautiful images. This is because each of the photographs carries a hidden message about the pricelessness and indispensability of water for life - not only for humans. The book also makes it clear how much our future depends on everyday behavior, which sooner or later will have to take into account the dwindling resources of this precious resource. The publication is accompanied by a fascinating documentary film entitled. "Watermark," directed by Jennifer Baichwal and Edward Burtynsky. The artist's latest book "Anthropocene," which summarizes and connects his previous artistic projects, is also accompanied by a film of the same title.

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