Of the photographs exhibited in Encounters, Jeff Melanson chose Edward Burtynsky’s Carrara Marble Quarries #26, Carrara, Italy. Burtynsky’s quarry explorations are compelling for many reasons, but especially for the mere scale of the excavations that he has observed. We are reminded, where Carrara is concerned, that Michelangelo and other masters carved such sculptures as David out of Carrara marble. This same marble continues to be excavated to this day. After a very sensitive observation of the photograph, Melanson, president of the Banff Center, includes the following quote by Francois Voltaire (1694-1778).
“C’est a ce prix que vous mangez du surre on Europe.”
Here, Melanson reminds us that our ways of living DO come at a cost.