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Living in Hell
October 16, 2009 1:22 PM   Subscribe

Infernal Landscapes.

The work of Lu Guang, who has been given this year's $30,000 W Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography. It's inescapably reminiscent of the work of Edward Burtynsky.
posted by WPW (17 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite

 
Our Dickensian global economy.
posted by Artw at 1:27 PM on October 16, 2009 [3 favorites]


Burtynsky doesn't photograph people, does he?

I mean, that's why I find his stuff so powerful. When the subject is industrial capitalism, it's fitting that the human dimension be completely excluded.
posted by Joe Beese at 1:33 PM on October 16, 2009


Artw, it made me think of the 19th century as well - or at least the 19th century in the imagination of some writers.

Joe, Burtynsky does sometimes photograph people, for instance large groups of uniformed workers - check out the "China" photos on his website (which won't let me link directly). But the people are mostly reduced by number and uniformity to machine-components, so your point about the human dimension stands.
posted by WPW at 1:37 PM on October 16, 2009


Burtynsky doesn't do portraits, but he does have some damn striking shots of masses of humanity at factories.

Both photographers entrance and terrify me. Good Lord, what have we done in the name of cheap stuff?
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 1:40 PM on October 16, 2009


On the bright side, cheap iPods!
posted by qvantamon at 1:42 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


I'm pretty certain the 19th century existed. This just shows it never left us.
posted by Artw at 1:47 PM on October 16, 2009


Industrial Revolutions look like Industrial Revolutions .

Let's hope that they are always followed by environmental revolutions.
posted by Muddler at 2:54 PM on October 16, 2009


The past never leaves it's just unevenly preserved.
posted by doobiedoo at 5:34 PM on October 16, 2009 [1 favorite]


fake!

(i'm just saying it first, in case they are, so I can get sidebarred)
posted by empath at 7:52 PM on October 16, 2009


Ah, the "I've seen Twelve Monkeys!" trick.
posted by Artw at 9:52 PM on October 16, 2009


Spending their lives in industrial hell so we can get a better deal at Wal-Mart.

I thought about pictures of pictures of immigrants in NYC 140 years ago (100,000 homeless kids), then about the England of Charlotte Bronte (all 8 in her family died before she was 40-including her).

AWFULly nice of the Chinese people to loan us $trillions to keep our asses fat, isn't it?
posted by Twang at 1:43 AM on October 17, 2009


Man, these photos look stunning on my new Macbook Pro... anyway laugh now, but one day they'll be in charge.
posted by yoHighness at 7:02 AM on October 17, 2009


Artw, of course the 19th century existed and was brutal enough, but what illuminates it for us is the imagination of its writers.
posted by WPW at 7:47 AM on October 17, 2009


Man, these photos look stunning on my new Macbook Pro... anyway laugh now, but one day they'll be in charge.

Don't worry - the people actually in charge will be as safely isolated from this as we are - anything else would be, well, whatever communists call communism when it turns out they don't actually like it.
posted by Artw at 8:20 AM on October 17, 2009


Well, I know the kind of people you mean and I'm ready to sink into the earth with shame.
posted by yoHighness at 8:48 AM on October 17, 2009


I escaped it by not knowing who Burtynski is.
posted by Eideteker at 5:29 AM on October 21, 2009


More of them are here.
posted by milquetoast at 3:45 AM on October 22, 2009


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