I have been trying to get this job done for about 7 years. Get my archive, that was stored in a garage in downtown Washington, a bit closer to my home. A long but rollicking ride from D.C. to OBX with an old friend and a multi media intern ended with getting all my stuff in one place.
I took pictures and found old pictures. My excuse for little heavy lifting.
An old case I had not seen for about 40 years was opened. Not by me, but by one of my helpers. Gold. The picture on the right, shot when I was 19 or 20 and accepted to a juried show at the Va. Museum of Fine Arts, and what I considered to be my first successful picture was found today along with a “second”. Yes, to the left here, my first print of the situation. Later changing my find for the mounted photo above. You can see the same boy far left in the tattered picture with four children.
An even more truly serious find. My original fiber prints from Tell It Like It Is. I did not even know these still existed until today. Thought these prints were lost. 40 years lost. Yes, I must say beautifully carefully printed by me in the darkroom set up not far from where I was shooting. Back in 1967. As Bruce Davidson himself pointed out to me were shot 4 years before East 100th Street. I was shooting by day and printing by night. Obsessed.
I am not sure how many times I moved as a kid, but it was a lot. My stuff has been packed up and moved from one space to another so many times that I honestly would have to spend some serious time thinking about it to come up with a number. Sometimes multiple moves even in the same city. So since I starting accumulating negatives, slides, prints, you know pictures I wanted to keep, I have moved dozens of times. Somehow from those earliest years until today everything is intact. Sort of. It is all there, but where is it? This is the problem. Lots of hasty moves. Cardboard boxes full of treasure in some cases, and marked on the outside with magic marker “selects” or “look again”. Nightmare. Yet today , as seen in the sequence above , treasure. Not for anyone else , but for me.
We just got everything moved in. I plan to rent a small house at the beach. Get all my stuff there. And offer work/study programs to say 5 young photographers, to come an help organize my archive in exchange for a great place to live at the beach and a full on career workshop for them. Evaluate their portfolios, get them going on projects, help them edit, and generally mentor as I most often do.
Road Trips was my personal diary. Burn has been set up to feature this audience. Yet many from this audience have asked me to jump in with my own work just a bit more. Yet when I decided to take an online audience with me while I shot in Rio last month www.theriobook.com I took that effort away from Burn and on to its own site. The good vibes and karma were so good with riobook that I thought I might try a bit more mix and match here on Burn. Just more of what most folks are asking for. Solid photography from emerging photographers and insights into process. This is what worked so well on riobook. If you were not there, honestly you missed something. Matter of fact , many are signing up now even though they know the day by day is finished, it still stands as a unique experience. An authentic experience. No way to manipulate they way it all came down.
Yet the emphasis here on Burn is still you. Burn 01 and Burn 02, our print magazines, will be followed by Burn 03. You should try to get your work in 03, the place to be.
We are also in the dreaming planning stages for SURFING WORLD. Yes, the art of the art of surfing. A book about surfing for surfers and non surfers alike. Martin Parr will shoot some of it. Top notch surf action photographers will shoot some of it. Maybe one of you can convince me to let you shoot part of it. Show me what you can do and I am up for anything.
We are also planning a handsome book SOUTH AMERICA, a group essay shot by 80% South American photographers. It will not be what you imagine. I will be looking at portfolios soonest.
In the wings for new books are Laura El Tantawy for IN THE SHADOW OF THE PYRAMIDS, Panos Skoulidas for DEATH IN VENICE, and an epic by Jukka Onnela and few nice surprises to be announced soonest.
Our Emerging Photographer Fund grant of $15,000. will be announced soonest. The new emphasis on the EPF grant will be to do work for Burn. Rather than a reward for past work, the shift will be to create new work , then to be published on Burn. More of a commission than a award.
This coming May , Burn Magazine will have an exhibition at the HeadOn Festival in Sydney, Australia alongside my own One Night in Rio. I will be doing a workshop at Bondi Beach at the same time, and I have asked Imants Krumins to curate a small show featuring young Australian photographers under 18.
So I am trying to keep things interesting for all of us. It is only the right frame of mind and the right karma and the right space and the right place and the right mood that well makes things right…feel good, feel right….be right.
We will never get there, but we will always be on our way….