Thursday, 7 April 2011
Edward Burtynsky is one of the chosen few. The 56-year old photographer, unlike most of his peer group, is receiving the praise he deserves in his own lifetime. So exactingly perfect are his landscape photographs that the Royal Ontario Museum, best known for dinosaurs and mummies, is breaking from its mandate to present his world traveling one-man show.
"Oil", his 53-image exhibition is so hot that Toronto's media worked hard to see who could write about it first! On the heels of a wave of international media recognition including a double-page spread in the Sunday New York Times the Toronto Star's Murray Whyte got there first.
His favourable review/feature hit the streets just hours before the rest of the media were ushered into the ROM's 4th floor Roloff Beny Gallery. It was a media preview to see this country's most respected large-format landscape photographer.
Television cameras, print journalists, bloggers and even radio stations came out to tour the exhibition. So in demand for interviews, the above picture of Ed Burtynsky and Scotiabank's archivist Jane Nokes was a quickie snap sandwiched in between a CBC National TV interview and a chat with the Globe and Mail.
Edward Burtynsky: Oil is presented by the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre, the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and Scotiabank Group. The exhibition details how nature is negatively transformed by an oil driven world economy.
Burtynsky follows a bouncing ball made of oil, from the ground (including Canada's oil sands) to surface based refineries. His cameras travel down highways, across oceans and finally end up at the homes of our dirty little secrets - the garbage dumps of the world.
But even while he is photographing horrific refuse sites, Burtynsky is always the consummate landscape artist. He takes a grand panoramic view when photographing spent objects of commerce, be they tires, drive-in restaurants or mothballed engines of war.
In the photograph above he and Nokes stand in front of a photograph where mothballed B-52s, parked in an Arizona desert, have become the landscape. This is a graveyard where US warplanes (capable of carrying nuclear weapons) are put on a desert runway to allow highflying satellites to confirm that they never will fly again. Burtynsky uses his long lens to show the staggering number of gas guzzling warplanes now on the post Cold War SALT scrap heap.
Days after Oil opened to the public; another Toronto institution recognized Burtynsky. On April 14th the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) and BMO Financial Group announced that it would present Edward Burtynsky with the biannual MOCCA Award . This $20,000 award honours a Canadian active in the field of visual arts for innovation, accomplishment or contribution over time, or for a specific project that has national or international significance.
BTW - the 56-year old Canadian photographer is a Ryerson graduate. His first year at Ryerson was my last. We shared one class. He doesn't remember me. Sigh.
Above and Below: Scotiabank Archivist Jane Nokes and photographer Ed Burtynsky attend the Royal Ontario Museum's media preview for the exhibition Edward Burtynsky: Oil. The exhibition is presented by the Ryerson Gallery and Research Centre, the Scotiabank CONTACT Photography Festival and Scotiabank Group.
Take no prisoners. Students compete for big money in Toronto Poetry Recitation Finals. Tuesday night.
2011 Recitation Finals will be held at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts
WHO: Twelve high school students; Judges Karine Glorieux, Robert Lalonde, Diana Leblanc, Dennis Lee, Karen Solie, and Élise Turcotte; Remarks by Scott and Krystyne Griffin; Emcee Albert Schultz; Live music.
WHAT: Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is a bilingual poetry recitation contest for Canadian high school students.
WHY: See student winners from 12 Ontario high schools compete for $10,000 in prize money and school stipends by reciting poems from memory at the finals for this pilot program.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 12, 2011, beginning at 7 pm.
WHERE: Young Centre for the Performing Arts
Distillery District, 55 Mill Street, Toronto, Canada.
HOW: Tickets are free for students and $10 for adults. Click here for details.
ABOUT POETRY IN VOICE:
Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie is a bilingual poetry recitation contest for Canadian high school students. The contest uses a pyramid structure that begins at the classroom level. Students advance to school-wide competitions and the school champion from each of the twelve Ontario schools participating in the pilot program will compete for $10,000 in prize money on Tuesday, April 12, 2011, at the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Downtown Toronto. The competition will expand in 2012 to include all of Ontario and Quebec, and branch out to schools across the country in 2013.
$10,000 in prize money will be awarded as follows:
1st Prize: $5,000 to the student
$2,500 to the student's school library, $500 earmarked for poetry books
2nd Prize: $1,000 to the student
$500 to the student's school library for poetry books
3rd Prize: $500 to the student
$500 to the student's school library for poetry books
Poetry In Voice/Les voix de la poésie (PIV/LVP) is the latest initiative by Scott Griffin, who is also the Chairman and founder of The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry along with Trustees Margaret Atwood, Carolyn Forché, Robert Hass, Michael Ondaatje, Robin Robertson and David Young. By funding the Griffin Poetry Prize, the world's largest prize for a first edition single collection of poetry written in English, The Griffin Trust For Excellence In Poetry aims to spark the public's imagination and raise awareness of the crucial role poetry plays in our cultural life, a mission shared by Poetry In Voice.
JOIN US ONLINE:
Stephen Weir & Associates | email@example.com
2482 Yonge Street, Unit 45032, Toronto, ONT.
CANADA. M4P 3E3
Tel: 416-489-5868 | Fax: 416-488-6518