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Anthropocene is almost here!

September 11th, 2018

Image of cleared land and a coal mine

Edward Burtynsky, Coal Mine #1, North Rhine, Westphalia, Germany, 2015. Pigment inkjet print, 148.6 x 198.1 cm Courtesy of the artist and Nicholas

We’re getting excited! In just 17 days, our major fall exhibition Anthropocene opens. Combining the artistic forces of Canadian artists Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, this extraordinary exhibition will take you on a journey around the world.

Spanning six continents and 20 countries, from the concrete seawalls off the coast of China to marble quarries in Italy, from landfills in Nairobi to logging sites in British Columbia, Anthropocene reveals the human impact on our planet. Featuring large-scale photographs, films and augmented reality (AR) installations, this is one exhibition you won’t want to miss!

In honour of tickets going on sale this Friday, September 14th, we spoke to Sophie Hackett, the AGO’s Curator of Photography, to find out why she can’t wait for this exhibition to open.

AGO: What are you most looking forward to people seeing in this exhibition? 
Sophie: I’m most excited to show the public how these artists are pushing documentary forms in photography and film, and in doing so, they bring us closer to these sites of extreme human activity.

AGO: What are some of the most fascinating aspects of Anthropocene?
Sophie: What is most compelling for me are the ways the artists tackled this complex topic through a range of media. It’s how these artworks come together, and their scale that makes this such a powerful experience. Visitors will move from contemplative moments with film and large scale photographs, to activating 3D-images through the AR artworks. It’s a full sensory experience. We’re busy installing the exhibition now. And I can’t wait for people to see it.

AGO: What do you hope people take away from the exhibition?
Sophie: I hope visitors will learn about the scale of human impact – for better and for worse. With all the human inventiveness on display in the exhibition, from industrial agriculture to solar farms, I also hope that it sparks a recognition of what humanity is capable of.

Timed-entry tickets for Anthropocene go on sale this Friday, September 14, and are $16.50 for post-secondary students and youth ages 17 and under, $21.50 for seniors and $25 for adults. Tickets will be available online at, in person and by phone.

Admission is free for AGO Members and for children five and under. AGO Members can attend exclusive Members’ Previews before the exhibition opens to the public. Find out more about the benefits of AGO membership.

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