ACCIONA, PHOTOESPAÑA AND THE AFRICAN STUDIES EXPOSITION
The exhibition aims to raise awareness about the price of our civilisation's growth, which ignores the need for sustainable industrial practices and policies that protect natural resources.
WHY IS ACCIONA COLLABORATING IN THIS EXHIBITION?
Edward Burtynsky's interest in human’s impact on the planet aligns with ACCIONA's corporate objective to lead the decarbonisation of the economy. Burtynsky's photographs don’t only show industrialised landscapes, but they also show a reminder of untouched landscapes and their ecosystems.
ACCIONA believes that sustainable access to a resource such as water is one of the main challenges facing humanity. The increasing impact of climate change on water poses a risk to water security and well-being, especially in the most vulnerable communities and given that half of the world’s population will live in water-scarce regions by 2050. Meanwhile, food security, human health, urban and rural settlements, energy production, industrial development, economic growth and ecosystems all depend on water. As a leader of climate action in the water sector, ACCIONA accepts the challenge of extending a positive water footprint worldwide through the design of regenerative water infrastructures.
In this sense, Edward Burtynsky’s chronicle focuses on the evolution toward sustainable industrial practices and policies aligned with these polices, which ACCIONA employs in order to guarantee sustainable and safe access to clean water and sanitation. The company promotes this work through its Water activity, as well as through the clean water and appropriate sanitation programmes run by the corporate foundation, acciona.org
I'm finding new visual resonances emerging while photographing in Africa. While evolving my use of the aerial perspective, in these recent pictures I am surveying two very distinct aspects of the landscape: that of the earth as something intact, undisturbed yet implicitly vulnerable… and that of the earth as opened up by the systematic extraction of resources. - E. Burtynsky
Photographed predominantly from aerial viewpoints, Burtynsky's works often have a flattened frontal aspect, transforming the image into sumptuously graduating colour fields or vigorous grid-like compositions, strikingly reminiscent of Modernist abstraction. Presented at a large scale, and with compelling detail, their painterly surfaces and gestural marks reveal the coalescing designs of both nature and human infrastructure. Burtynsky's perpetual search for abstraction within the landscape navigates a fine balance between form and content. He describes this dualistic approach as "keeping two doors open" for the viewer to enter the work — leading an enquiry into the expansive subject matter, while exploring the image as a mode of intuitive sensory expression.
ACCIONA has been present on the African continent since 1940, undertaking more than 30 projects relating to energy, construction, water and other services in several countries, including Morocco, Algeria, Egypt, Cape Verde, Gabon and South Africa.
- Date: 9 June–1 October
- Location: CentroCentro (4th floor) Plaza Cibeles, 1, 28014 Madrid, Spain
- Exhibit: Having taken him to Kenya, Nigeria, Ethiopia, Ghana, Senegal, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Madagascar and Tanzania, E. Burtynsky's "African Studies" series focuses on the landscapes of sub-Saharan Africa.