Click to preview Quiet Places photo book

To offset information overload in this fast-paced era, slowing down to really assess the world we live in has become more important than ever. Photography is the perfect tool for deliberate observation - an attitude that has been at the core of photographic practice from its beginning - and is exemplified by photographer James Mudd’s 1856 remark about “counting the bricks” in a daguerreotype. With that stance in mind, my first objective is to portray the visual delights I find in overlooked or forgotten places.

On a more subjective level, these photographs are not statements so much as questions about how we use the land we occupy. I am skeptical of the reasoning behind the construction of public and private spaces. Some of my pictures show the disorder of order. Others are about relationships between objects that have conflicting symbolic implications. Still others refer to a kind of lost grandeur. These are some of the ways I capture a sense of the uncommon vernacular landscape before a homogeneous topography can replace it.

Unquestionably, there are autobiographical elements to my photography. But I am more interested in the biography of America suggested by a collection of characteristic iconography. Some have termed this kind of document-making “above-ground archeology.”

Although the individual images can stand alone, their cumulative effect reveals deeper meanings through contextual relationships.

The photographs were shot between 2002 and 2008. The images are made from scans of 6x7 and 4x5 black and white film.


About the Author

Jeff Burk
jeffb56 Aurora, Illinois, USA
BFA, Kansas City Art Institute MFA, Indiana University

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