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Don Burmeister

STATEMENT
My explorations of the book form and photography revolve around the physicality of the book itself. When looking at a photo book the book is generally sitting in your hands, your eyes see the imagery, but your hand is feels the book. Holding a hand-made book is a personal connection that I think adds depth to the photographs within.

There are qualities to the images in a book that are different from the same images seen displayed on a wall. As we approach an image on the wall, we assess its qualities, even if only subconsciously, before we ‘look’ at it. In a book the images are hidden, we open the book or turn the page and a new image or set of images appears suddenly. True, the book is sequential, presenting temporal stories, and creating expectations for what is to be found on the next page, but, each page is a stationary scene unto itself. The codex-photobook is a movie edited with jump cuts alone.

I have tried on occasion to make books that try to transcend the ‘paginess’ of the codex, but even with so called accordion books, the peaks and valleys of the folded paper began to exert their power. There is some solace from Chinese scroll paintings, with no pages, where the imagery still tends towards sequences of scenes.

In most of the books I make, however, I embrace the codex page as an important bracket and restraint on the imagery. An image can stand utterly alone; an independent image facing a blank page, or as I usually attempt, there can be a dialog between the images on the left and right pages and the spaces around them.

The subject matter of my photographs varies, but is generally documentary in approach, but idiosyncratic in focus. They books often involve elements of performance and conceptual art, and have a dash of dada and pinch of stamp collecting thrown in. I have been accused of including traces of humor as well, but have not seen any convincing evidence.

BIOGRAPHY
BURST387 was conceived in Greenpoint, Brooklyn in 2002 or 3 as an artistic alter-ego of photographer Don Burmeister, an avatar for the presentation of small, low-res ‘digital’ photographs, as opposed to the large format (film) photos produced by Burmeister at the time. Since then, the rise of digital media has meant that Burmeister has agreed to become the alter-ego of BURST387. @donb4752 is the instagram tag used by both Burmeister and BURST387, but is not considered to be an alter-ego.

They has exhibited widely, including at the Museum of the City of New York, The Hudson River Museum, and many private galleries and organizational shows. Burmeister’s photographs have appeared in publications ranging from National Geographic, Harper’s Magazine, Popular Photography, and Redbook to Technology Today,The Journal of Neurobiology, Cell, and the Journal of Ultrastructural Research.

Artist’s books by them are in the collections of the Tate Museum Library, London, the Harvard Art Library, Cambridge MA, and off many private collectors.

Don Burmeister’s Website

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