Disaster Topographics

Hiromi Tsuchida, David McMillan, Edward Burtynsky


Disaster Topographics examines the photographic representation of time, history and disaster in the recent work of contemporary photographers Edward Burtynsky, David McMillan and Hiromi Tsuchida. A common element in each photographer’s work is the use of the ‘before and after’ photograph in the representation of disaster. Such photographs are often employed to show a return to normalcy for a society that is growing increasingly fearful. For example, shortly after the destruction of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001, Time Magazine ran a series of before and after photographs. Individuals caught in the disaster of 9/11, and photographed by journalists under a cloud of dust and gloom were re-photographed from the consolatory vantage point of the 9/11 survivor. The artists in Disaster Topographics offer no such resolution and depict sites in which the disaster is either unstoppable, growing or where the evidence of social recovery marks its own disaster of forgetting.

Curated by Blake Fitzpatrick