I Want To Take Picture. Photographs, text, and design by Bill Burke. Nexus Press, Atlanta, Georgia, 1987 [reprinted by Twin Palms, 2007]. Unpaged. Small folio. Photo-illustrated boards. No jacket as issued. Numerous color and black-and-white reproductions (duotone and halftone separations also by Burke).
"Bill Burke has become known for his large-format portraits shot on Polaroid Land film, which have the formality and feel of nineteenth-century photographs whilst remaining acutely modern in their sensibilities. In his best book, I Want to Take Picture, this technique is entirely appropriate, since it records his personal pilgrimage to southeast Asia, duplicating the enterprise of the old colonialist photographers but adding a contemporary twist. "Although the pictures have a nineteenth-century feel, the book is also a diary that records a twentieth-century experience. Burke not only uses his photographs, but also employs documents- reproductions of ephemera like money and bus tickets- and collages them with handwritten captions. The result is a kaleidoscopic impression of his journeys, taking the book out of the documentary realm and into that of the personal road trip. However, this particular sojourn does not merely connate the search for self that occupies so much of late twentieth-century American photography. It also represents a moving attempt to come to terms with some of the events that haunted his generation"--Parr & Badger