Getting Cultured in Toronto

While in Toronto for the FITC festival, I had a chance to spend 3 uninterrupted days walking around the city with Bram.

I was aware that Edward Burtynsky’s exhibition ‘Oil’ was taking place at the Royal Ontario Museum, so I took advantage of the opportunity to see it in person. If you are interested in the impact of industrial growth and development on the appearance of our planet, you should see Burtynsky’s documentary: Manufactured Landscapes. He takes a neutral, yet visually charged point of view on how industrialization stands behind the formation of artificial, man made landscapes, where earth is carved with machinery, soaked with toxic liquids, and covered with factories, warehouses, and scrap yards. Here is what I saw at the ‘Oil” exhibition…

ROM’s seemingly contradictory architecture: clash of modern and traditional.

Let the show begin.


Entering the space…

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

Me looking at the details.

Oil soaked footprints.

The large format of the photo makes you pay attention.

Waste and rust…somewhere in California.

Car lot: ready for purchase…

North America’s gas stations, fast food joints, and highways – overwhelming!

Desert suburbia – Arizona.

This reminds me of Wall-e’s work (Disney-Pixar). It’s funny how much truth can be found in that animated film.

Waste detail. Oil filters?

I don’t have the images of all the pieces from this show, and there were many more.

I think Burtynsky is bringing up an important issue for all of us to consider. With his images he leaves us in awe of how much of a footprint we are leaving on our planet. Oil – the blood of the economy – is a finite resource, and it is only a matter of time before we begin to experience the effects of its growing scarcity, and the environmentally dangerous effects of its production. Oil has both allowed unimaginable progress resulting in a huge spike in population because of its involvement with food and medicine production, and toxic devastation, since the hunt for oil has been the true cause of many wars, the reason for the poor 3rd world countries getting poorer, and for earth to bleed and decay. Yet Burtynsky’s photos have no judgment behind them whatsoever – it is us that charge the imagery with meaning derived from our own opinions. We either celebrate our human ingenuity, or scorn our mindless plundering – either way the judgment is in our hands.

To find out more read the exhibition reviews here:


The Star


Art Nectar

Other Exhibitions:

After seeing the amazing Burtynsky exhibition, we decided to spend the rest of our time exploring the 3 floors of the ROM building, seeing what else we could feast our eyes on. Unfortunately there were so many interesting things that it was virtually impossible to view everything in the amount of time we dedicated to this ROM adventure. We missed the Dinosaurs and the Water exhibition. ROM was closing, and we had to go… The stuff that we got to explore is below…

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

Chopin exhibition: comparing profiles – definitely Polish!

Chopin played on a piano like this.

Poland and Chopin are like eggs and bacon.

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

Waiting for Zeus to strike me – Greece exhibition.

Probably someone important…

Head of Herakles.

Egypt exhibition.

Ceiling mosaic reads: “That all men may know his work.”

Straight out of Superman’s cave?

Some kind of crystal…forgot the name!

Earth’s treasures!

Natural occurring metals.

Gold. The Mission Impossible ‘rope from ceiling/hover’ sequence comes to mind.


Glowing Rocks

Crystal formations.

Nature is the finest artist: desert sandstone formation.

This is not a diamond, but it’s a beautiful polished crystal.

Don’t remember the name!


Sea of tulips in front of a high rise.

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

Claritin Clear advertisement.

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

Downtown Contact Exhibition.

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

Contact Exhibition – ‘Men in the Cities’ – trying to blend in…

St. James Anglican Church downtown. I’m a fan of old architecture. Can’t wait to go to Europe.

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

Public transportation.

Photo By: Bram Timmer.

The Much Music building.

View from CN tower – time to wash the windows?

Downtown Toronto: view from CN tower.

That is all folks!

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