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Autrefois, Maison Privee Hardcover – June 1, 2004
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There's no mistaking this for anything but a Bill Burke book. The hand written captions on the photos, the unique design that serves to enhance the photos, not some designer's ego and the immediacy of the image that puts the reader right there when the photo was made, all of Burke's trademark elements are here. The stunning four color black and white reproductions were made from scans of the black and white enlargements Burke made from his black and white Polaroid negatives. The photos are reproduced in warm tones with creamy whites so that many of them resemble 19th Century albumen prints by Baldus or the Bonfils.
While no one but Burke could have made these photos, at times he seems to be channelling the spirits of Atget, Evans and Sander. The second photo in the book of the "man with pigs" took my breath away. If August Sander had left the Westerwald for Cambodia he might have made this photo of a farmer taking pigs to market on his bicycle in a basket that looks like something out of "How to Wrap Five Eggs". The pig farmer looks out at the photographer from under the brim of his hat with a stoicism that bespeaks his acceptence of a hard life in the hot sun of southeast Asia and his quiet pride in being chosen to have his portrait made (Burke often gives his subjects the orginal 3 x 4 inch Polaroid photo, keeping the negative to make larger prints when he returns home).
There are many other photographs in "Autrefois...Read more ›