Letter: Pas de Deux


Photo: “Engagement” © Burk Uzzle 2016

October 2016

By Burk Uzzle

The change of seasons is one of nature’s more beautiful transitions.  This autumn brought extraordinary reception to three concurrent retrospectives of my work at the NC Museum of Art, Nasher Museum of Art, and Ackland Art Museum.  The subject in one of my exhibited 60” x 80” pictures rarely leaves his home in rural NC so I took him to see his life-size portrait at the museum.  As visitors began to recognize him from the framed print, he shared afterward that was in dialogue with more people than he had spoken with in a year.  His animation and pride was palpable.

Such is also my hope for the February 2017 opening of Perceptions + Recognitions : African-Americans in Eastern North Carolina commissioned by the Greenville Museum of Art.  This exhibition of new portraits will become part of their permanent collection so subsequent generations can experience their legacy in perpetuity.  The production of this work is a gift exchange of connection between subject and photographer as one engages in a pas de deux.

In September 2016, filmmakers David Raymond and Jethro Waters launched f/11 and be there, a feature length documentary about my recent work, the ontological process of how I take pictures, and my ongoing enquiry to reveal the aura of the person or place.  Their filming has included my shooting of images in the studio and offsite for Perceptions + Recognitions and will continue through April 2017 throughout NC, TN, and NY.  

Finally, as promised, I will host a small group of interested photographers for several hours of open discussion about the dynamics of our contemporary medium.  Please let me know if you would like to be included so we may be in touch with convening details.  The tentative date is a Saturday in March 2017.

With hopes that all your partners are in sync with you, please accept my warmest wishes.


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