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Post #1243 • October 7, 2008, 4:08 PM • 1 Comment
North Adams, MA - "Eastern Standard" featured an intriguing photograph by Edward Burtynsky of the last standing unit of a demolished apartment building in China. Clothes hang from a bamboo pole. A new bicycle leans by the doorway. But where there ought to be neighbors - or for that matter, walls - there's nothing except space filled with the lowest floors of glass high rises. Oliver Lyons and Alexis Raskin projected video mashups of old and new Shanghai onto sandblasted glass. People ice skated, danced in the park, and wandered about contemporary Chinese architecture in a luminous fog. These works evocatively portrayed the alternately glorious and galling rise of the new China.
Everything else in the show was an inferior redundancy.
October 8, 2008, 10:34 AM
Burtynsky's photos are engulfing, there's no doubt. But impressive as they are, they've not escaped the general malais that plagues contemporary photography: everyone is a photographer and snaps photos all the time - stuck in traffic, at the bar, on holiday. It's a classic case of a couple hundred million monkeys at a couple hundred million typewriters (see: Flickr). Eventually someone somewhere captures good stuff. Photography is almost entirely about being at the right place at the right time with the right equipment.