Shipbreaking #9b, Chittagong, Bangladesh 2000
signed 'E Burtynsky' (on a label affixed to the reverse)
c-print in artist's frame
overall: 50 x 6312in. (127 x 161.2cm.)
Photographed in 2000 and printed in 2002, this work is number three from an edition of five plus two artist's proofs
Robert Koch Gallery, San Francisco.
Acquired from the above by the present owner.
W. A. Ewing, Edward Burtynsky: Essential Elements Collector's Edition, London 2016, p.184 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p. 29).
D. Forbes, 'Edward Burtynsky: Edward Burtynsky's Negative Sublime,' Portfolio: contemporary photography in britain, #47, January 2008, pp. 4-21 (another version illustrated in colour, p. 9).
Chicago, The Renaissance Society, Detourism, 2001.
London, Flowers East Gallery, Edward Burtynsky, 2001 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, unpaged).
Ottawa, National Gallery of Canada, Manufactured Landscapes: The Photographs of Edward Burtynsky, 2003-2004, pl. 57, p. 153 (another from the edition illustrated in colour, p.137). This exhibition later travelled to the Art Gallery of Ontario and Brooklyn Museum of Art.
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Lot Essay

"The original idea for the shipbreaking started a long time ago. About four years after the Exxon Valdez oil spill I heard a radio program where they were talking about the danger of single-hulled ships. The insurance companies were refusing to cover them after 2004, which would force all these ships to be decommissioned. Only double-hulled ships would be allowed on the open sea to prevent that kind of catastrophe from happening again.
What went off in my mind was, wouldn't it be interesting to see where these massive vessels will be taken apart. It would be a study of humanity and the skill it takes to dismantle these things. I looked upon the shipbreaking as the ultimate in recycling, in this case of the largest vessels ever made. It turned out that most of the dismantling was happening in India and Bangladesh so that's where I went." -
Edward Burtynsky

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