Landscape photographer to visit campus Jan. 21

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Edward Burtynsky has traveled around the world to photograph different scenes depicting the production and use of oil. Above, Alberta Oil Sands #8 shows an oil field in Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada.

The central place that oil holds in our society, including its positive and negative aspects, is the subject of The Landscape of Oil, a presentation and photographic exhibition by Edward Burtynsky to be held 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 21, in Webb Auditorium, James E. Booth Building.

Burtynsky, a prominent landscape photographer, has spent the past decade traveling the world to chronicle the “attraction and repulsion” of this central commodity, from drilling operations in Bakersfield, Calif., to oil fields in Azerbaijan.

The talk and exhibition, sponsored by the Caroline Werner Gannett Project, are based on a new book that will be released in 2009 and gallery show that is being prepared by the Corcoran Gallery of Washington. The free event will be followed by a book signing.

Burtynsky has received numerous awards for his photographic art and efforts to enhance public understanding of environmental degradation and the need for greater sustainability in society. His book Manufactured Landscapes was the basis for a 2006 documentary that was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. He also is the recipient of Canadian Geographic’s Ideas for Life Award.