Breezewood, Pennsylvania, 2008, printed 2010
119.4 x 152.3 cm; image: 119.4 x 152.3 cm
National Gallery of Canada (no. 45399)
Edward Burtynsky has received international acclaim for his photographs of modern industry in all its manifest forms: from manufacturing and distribution, commodification and use, to the environmental costs of technological obsolescence. "Breezewood, Pennsylvania" is a striking print from "Oil", the photographer's overarching body of work that illustrates the many facets of the world's reliance on this non-renewable resource. Here an intense yet familiar array of commercial signs and structures indicates to what extent the urban landscape is consolidated and standardized by oil and car culture. Taken at a particular time and place, the extraordinary scene is poignant for its ubiquity and conspicuousness throughout North America.
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