About the work
street and houses under a cloudy sky seen from a window, somewhat somber, dreary atmosphere, associated with Ireland
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About the artist
About Roel Burgler.
Born in 1947, Netherlands Antilles. After finishing my studies in political and social sciences, acquiring a PhD (the use of terror by revolutionarry intellectuals, the case of the Khmer Rouge) and a few years teaching at university I chose to pursue a career as freelance photographer/ journalist, specialising in social documentary photography in and of developing countries (see www.roelburgler.nl). Although an autodidact I have followed a number of specialised photo courses.
As a counterbalance to my work in devloping countries I started doing autonomous photography. Nearly all my fine art work falls under my bodyscapes project. Taking the nude as starting point I try to research what is photographically possible, with relatively simple means. This project has yielded everything from aesthetic, pure and simple pictures, to deeply traumatic psychological expressions, from the comical to the abstract, to landscapes, cosmic and under-water pictures. Nothing is what it seems.
My aim, with my autonomous photography, is to inspire the viewers to decide for themselves what it is all about. It's their associations and feelings regarding my art that are important. Get away from the viewer as a passive consumer, return to the viewer the responsibility for deciding the meaning and impact. The less a viewer knows about the work, the more the viewer will have to rely on his or her own feelings, associations , ideas, thus making the viewer an active and conscious participant instead of a passive consumer.
As is to be expected with such a protracted project (nearly 40 years now) I have followed many side-paths, some of which have led to interesting and creative results. I have experimented with more complex approaches and technicques, but in the end come to the conclusion that the picture I take should more or less be the end result. More of my autonomous work can be seen at http://roelb.exto.nl.
I also want to introduce the viewers to a small selection of my documentary work, again mainly photo's that hopefully stimulate the viewers' fantasy.
With both my documentary and autonomous work I have had solo expositions as well as participated in group expositions and art fairs. My photo projects Aids in Africa and A Bow between Two Worlds (research into globalisation taking the development of traditional archery in Bhutan and the Dutch provinde of Zeeland as examples) were exhibited (and published) widely. Of the latter project a fine book was published. I also organised, designed and excecuted a number of exhibitions on archery.
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