Edward Burtynsky - Rock of Ages and Quarries
"The concept of the landscape as architecture has become, for me, an act of imagination. I remember looking at buildings made of stone, and thinking, there has to be an interesting landscape somewhere out there because these stones had to have been taken out of the quarry one block at a time. I had never seen a dimensional quarry, but I envisioned an inverted cubed architecture on the side of a hill. I went in search of it, and when I had it on my ground glass, I knew that I had arrived. I had found an organic architecture created by our pursuit of raw materials. Open-pit mines, funneling down, were to me like inverted pyramids. Photographing quarries was a deliberate act of going out to try to find something in the world that would match the kinds of forms in my imagination.
I was excited by the striking patinas on the walls of the abandoned quarries. The surface of the rock-face would simultaneously reveal the process of its own creation, as well as display the techniques of the quarrymen. I likened the tenacious trees and pools of water to nature’s sentinels awaiting the eventual retreat of man and machine - to begin the slow process of reclamation.
Often my approach, the compression of space through light and optics, also yields an ambiguity of scale. I think that people are always trying to put a human scale on things. We need to put our human perspective into these images, and our presence is dwarfed by the spaces we’ve created. It’s an interesting metaphor for how technology seems larger than life, larger than our own lives.”