It's not true that aesthetics must be be compromised for meaning. I visited the excellent Infinite Balance: Artists and the Environment show at San Diego's Museum of Photographic Arts earlier this week, which features the shortlist for the Prix Pictet contest, the world’s top (and only? I ask myself) prize for photography and sustainability. The show features work mostly from photographers born in the 50s and 60s, like Edward Burtynsky (of Manufactured Landscapes), Susan Derges, Naoya Hatakeyama, and Chris Jordan (of TED fame). Even the artist statements had meaning. Naturally, that material was always depressing, at times beautiful, and also a tad reassuring because the photographer's minds and eyes were dedicated to the problem, at least for while. My favorite photographs were Nadav Kander's of the Yangtze River (he was the 2009 Prix Pictet winner). Here are a couple.
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