Photographer Bill Burke is one of those idiosyncratic artists whose body of work, which includes maquettes and notebooks, is not only stimulating for critics, but also calls into question certain aesthetic and even metaphysical issues, not to mention cinematic tenets that have always fascinated this critic in particular.
Most essential is Burke’s idea that the camera is not an objective recorder of reality, although film theorist Siegfried Kracauer insisted that “photography has an outspoken affinity for unstaged reality.” Of course, we know this is simply not true. No art form can truly “show/tell it like it is.”
This legacy of motion is made apparent in Burke’s freeze-frame images featuring exploding objects, shots that remind us of Antonioni’s film Zabriski Point. The movie’s theme suggests that the objects were a metaphor for American consumerism.