I think I need to quote this post in full (and use his photo...), some good ideas about photography (despite my overall feelings about Burtynsky...):
"There has been much discourse and discussion on The Landscapist regarding truthin photography and words with pictures. Recently, I mentioned an intro essay by Mark Kingwell from the book Burtynsky - China titled, The Truth in Photographs, in which Kingwell deals rather nicely with truth.
Here's a passage which struck a chord with me - Photographs are not multiple depictions of some single reality, waiting out there to be cornered and cropped, and somehow regulating, even in cornering and cropping, how/what the image means. Rather, photographs offer multiple meanings. The presented image is not a reflection, or even an interpretation of a singular reality. It is, instead, the creation of a world.
Yikes ... holy cow ... scratch my back with a hacksaw - I don't know if I have ever read/heard so simple and direct a statement which seems to encapsulate the core/root idea of Art.
In the case of picturing, one is not capturing the world, one is, in fact, creating aworld (my world and welcome to it). The phrase 'creating a world' explains, on so many lelvels, good Art - again, in the case of picturing, so many are creating one-dimensional worlds which are filled with the already-known. Worlds which are shallow, not deep. Worlds which are impoverished, not rich. In short, worlds which display no imagination, which we all know, because Mr. Einstein said so, is more important than knowledge.
Imagination - the source of all creativity and originality - is the single most important tool in a photographers kit - both for creating and 'reading' worlds. Think about it. More on imagination to come."
Among many other things (such as, this is pretty much a good encapsulation of the whole issue of "meaning" in photography as well as "truth") to me, this approach and understanding also seems to be the antithesis of the whole "art is a verb" idea, which I think both misses the point about art in general as well as having a big chip on its shoulder about Art. Ironically, art as a verb is the ultimate pomo, taking art to its logical post-modern popular conclusion.