Naxos quarries

A few years ago I was biking across Naxos, an island in the Cyclades of Greece, when, up ahead, bobbing in and out of view, I could see the top of a mountain that had been precision-cut and blasted into a rock quarry. Carved down into a quasi-Cubist, high-altitude landscape of marble blocks, the sun – clear, white, omnidirectional Greek light – hit it from all angles; it looked like Georges Braque had perhaps faked his own death and moved to Greece to become a megalomaniacal landscape engineer in the spirit of Ernst Blofeld. (Which beings up the interesting question of what would have happened if, say, Getty Oil or Fiat had given the Italian Futurists access to hugely expensive earth-grinding machinery and then set them loose in a granite landscape the size of Texas, or perhaps just a small Greek island: what awe-inducing polished bowls and sloped blurs of mineral aggregate could they have produced and uncovered? A Futurist renovation of the Earth. Why did they *paint*, for god’s sake? Landscape engineering! Geotechnics! It’s the avant-garde of all time, just look at Nazca. Could the whole earth be machine-ground into a jewel? Could we now produce a *Diamond Sutra* for the geotechnical industry? Is anyone willing to donate a small Greek island to BLDGBLOG along with some earth-moving machines?).
Till that happens, here are some photographs by Edward Burtynsky, including quarries and mines, some not at all unlike Dante’s Hell.

One thought on “Naxos quarries”

  1. Sadly, the link up there for “Dante’s Hell” doesn’t work anymore; but I’ll find the image that page used to compare Burtynsky’s work to, and then post that separately to BLDGBLOG. An image of Hell, on Halloween? That works –

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