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Anthropocene is here!

September 24th, 2018

Edward Burtynsky, Mushin Market Intersection, Lagos, Nigeria, 2016. Mural, 304.8 × 609.6 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto. © 2018 Edward Burtynsky

Our major fall exhibition, Anthropocene, opens this Friday, September 28, and you won’t want to miss it! Exploring the human impact on Earth, the exhibition features stunning large-scale photographs, murals, films and immersive augmented reality (AR) installations by Canadian artists Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier.

An intimate and evocative portrait of how humans are permanently transforming the planet, Anthropocene at the AGO delves into more than 50 extraordinary works including images spanning six continents and 20 countries, from landfills in Nairobi to logging sites in British Columbia, that will take visitors through a monumental journey around the world.

As anticipation builds, we’re giving you a glimpse into the minds of the artists from their essays in the Anthropocene art book published by Steidl and the AGO-produced exhibition catalogue. Here is what the artists had to say about human impact on the planet:

I have come to think of my preoccupation with the Anthropocene—the indelible marks left by humankind on the geological face of our planet—as a conceptual extension of my first and most fundamental interests as a photographer. I have always been concerned with showing how we affect the Earth in a big way. To this end, I seek out and photograph large-scale systems that leave lasting marks. – from the essay Life in the Anthropocene by Edward Burtynsky

How to convey, despite our brevity as a species, the magnitude of our impact? Anthropocene in a scientific and geological sense means that we are now everywhere, all the time, and even in the rocks—those dense, mysterious receptacles of the planets history.” – from the essay Our Embedded Signal by Jennifer Baichwal.

As someone who is compelled to chronicle places and events with cameras, I am drawn to those subjects which inspire me and which worry me. The iconic themes and locations we have chosen for Anthropocene do both. Its hard not to marvel at the engineering ingenuity of the massive industrial sites we filmed, and equally hard to ignore the devastation they represent. – from the essay Evidence by Nicholas de Pencier.

The AGO-produced catalogue, Anthropocene, is now available at shopAGO for $29.95.

The 224-page Anthropocene art book published by Steidl is also available at shopAGO.

Want to celebrate with the artists and get your book signed? Join us in Walker Court for the public opening of this remarkable exhibition on Wednesday, October 3 from 6 to 9 pm. Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier will be signing books from 6 to 7 pm, with remarks at 7 pm.

Timed-entry tickets for Anthropocene are on sale now at, in person and by phone.

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