Skip to Content

Art Gallery of Ontario

Keyword Site Search

Art Matters Blog

An epic trilogy

October 1st, 2018

Edward Burtynsky. Carrara Marble Quarries, Cava di Canalgrande #2, Carrara, Italy, 2016. Mural, 304.8 × 609.6 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto. © 2018 Edward Burtynsky.

Anthropocene is open! Visitors are flocking to the AGO to see the spectacular works by Canadian artists Edward Burtynsky, Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier in our major fall exhibition.

You don’t want to miss the large-scale photographs, murals, films and augmented reality artworks. To add to your exhibition experience, on select dates in October and November, you can check out the artists’ trilogy of films playing at our own Jackman Hall. These three visually stunning films take viewers on a journey of awe, while reflecting on the environmental and ethical issues surrounding the impact humans are having on the planet. Check out the trailers to get a glimpse of these amazing films.

Manufactured Landscapes
This feature documentary film, directed by Baichwal and produced by de Pencier, follows Burtynsky as he travels through China, capturing photographic evidence of the effects of the country’s massive industrial revolution. Filmed in Super-16mm by Peter Mettler, Manufactured Landscapes explores the Three Gorges Dam, kilometre-long factory floors and the breathtaking scale of Shanghai’s urban renewal.

Using ultra high-definition technology, this documentary film examines our relationship with water – a magnificent force of nature that we often take for granted. The film, the second collaboration by the artists, is full of soaring aerial shots and stories from around the world, including the massive floating marine snail farms off China’s Fujian coast and the construction site of the biggest arch dam in the world – the Xiluodu (also in China), which is six times the size of the Hoover Dam. The film also explores the barren desert delta where the Colorado River no longer reaches the ocean, the water-intensive leather tanneries of Dhaka and so much more.

ANTHROPOCENE: The Human Epoch 
The artists came together again for the third film in this trilogy. Four and a half years in the making, this feature documentary captures the most remarkable evidence of human impact on Earth. From the concrete seawalls in China that now cover 60 per cent of the mainland coast, to psychedelic potash mines in Russia’s Ural Mountains, to the devastated Great Barrier Reef in Australia and beyond, this film takes viewers on a journey across our planet while touching on the deeper meaning of what these profound transformations mean for the future of our planet.

See for yourself! Catch these screenings at the AGO this fall. Visit the AGO’s events webpage to get your tickets.

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

Anthropocene: The Human Epoch is playing in Toronto at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and Canada Square Cinemas.

Are you an AGOinsider yet? If not, sign up to have stories like these delivered straight to your inbox every week.

Comments are closed.