August’s weather has not been terribly kind. Blistering hot during the week, to the point where the city prohibited use of the Grillplätze in its parks; thank goodness those of us with gardens could heat up the Weber and not our kitchens on the hot days. Rain washed away two sets of long weekend plans, and nearly ruined this past weekend. But I digress.

Edward Burtynsky is a photographer who specializes in large format industrial, or “manufactured” landscapes that make a statement; and the kiosks around the city were featuring this distressed Colorado River delta, now a toxic stream, that caught my attention.

In order to keep our sanity on another inclement Saturday, Tony and I forced ourselves to visit the least un-interesting exhibit we could find in the city. In spite of ourselves and the museum staff*, we even enjoyed it.

Salt pans, aquaculture, rice terraces and traditional Indian rituals offered industrial, social and cultural statements.

Damage from a 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an environmental statement.

This final photo, of a planned community in Florida, makes all kinds of statements.

Leaving the museum and ducking in between raindrops to catch a tram, I spied an altogether different kind of comment.


*A pet-peeve of ours in this country is not so much that the society is cash-based, it is the attitude that comes with. Two couples ahead of us purchased their tickets with cash (in English). We attempted to do the same, in German, and got attitude from the clerk when we handed him a €50 note for the €18 tickets . He asked if we had €20; when I replied that we did not, he basically said that he would not sell us tickets because he was running out of change.

Sigh. The museum had only been open for 5 minutes. Cash-based society, but no cash in the till? I gave him a “Mom” stare down and he politely accepted our note. C’mon, Vienna, you can’t have it both ways.

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