NEW ORLEANS, LA.- NOMA
à CAC presents Edward Burtynsky: Water, the world premiere of the latest body of work by internationally renowned photographer Edward Burtynsky, opening Saturday, October 5 in the second floor Lupin Foundation Gallery of the Contemporary Arts Center (CAC). This second initiative of the ongoing NOMA à CAC programming partnership includes over 50 large-scale color photographs that form a global portrait of humanitys relationship to water. Burtynskys images address several facets of the worlds vital resource, exploring the source, collection, control, displacement, and depletion of water. The exhibition opens on October 5, 2013 and runs through January 19, 2014.
Edward Burtynsky (born 1955, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada) has long been recognized for his ability to combine vast and serious subject matter with a rigorous, formal approach to picture making. The results are images that are part abstraction, part architecture, and part raw data. In producing Water, Burtynsky has worked across the globefrom the Gulf of Mexico to the shores of the Gangesweaving together an ambitious representation of waters increasingly fragmented lifecycle.
The CAC is thrilled to be able to premiere an exhibition of this scale and quality through our partnership with NOMA, said Neil Barclay, Executive Director of the Contemporary Arts Center. Burtynskys work has long served as a commentary on the relationship between art and environment, and I believe the subject of these works will be of keen interest to anyone who has experienced life in New Orleans over the past decade.
Five years in the making, Water is at once Burtynskys most detailed and expansive project to date, with images of the 2010 Gulf oil spill, step wells in India, dam construction in China, aquaculture, farming, and pivot irrigation systems, said Susan M. Taylor, Director of the New Orleans Museum of Art. In addition Water includes some of the first pure landscapes that Burtynsky has made since the early 1980s. These archaic, almost primordial looking images of British Columbia place the structures of water control in a historical contexttracing the story of water from the ancient to the modern, and back again.
While the story of water is certainly an ecological one, Burtynsky is more interested in presenting the facts on the ground than in declaring societys motives good or bad. In focusing on all the facets of peoples relationship with water, including ritual and leisure, Burtynsky offers evidence without an argument. Burtynskys work functions as an open ended question about humanitys past, present, and future, said Russell Lord, Freeman Family Curator of Photographs at the New Orleans Museum of Art. The big question is: do these pictures represent the achievement of humanity or one of its greatest faults, or both? Each visitor might find a different answer in this exhibition, depending upon what they bring to it.