RAILCUTS: Even in his choice of a title for this series, Burtynsky informs us that his photographs do not share an aesthetic agenda with earlier images of the railway. The title "Railcuts" evokes a sense of direct physical contact with the land. Blasted rock-face fills most of the frames in these images, and the tightly cropped views of the railway line seen head-on are strangely airless and even claustrophobic. Compared with the deep perspective used in works by nineteenth-century photographers who worked for the Canadian Pacific Railway, Burtynsky's viewpoint is close and confrontational.
- Lori Pauli