Taking Shots: William S. Burroughs and Photography
I drifted along taking shots when I could score.
I ended up hooked. (William S. Burroughs, Junky)
William S. Burroughs (1914-1997) was one of the most influential American writers of the 20th century. Despite his prolific achievements as a novelist, essayist, spoken word performer and painter, Burroughs’ work as a photographer is rarely acknowledged. Coinciding with the centenary of Burroughs’ birth, Taking Shots will be the first exhibition worldwide to focus on Burroughs’ vast photographic oeuvre and offers new and important insights into his artistic and creative processes. Burroughs’ photographs, striking in their self-containment, lack any reference to other practitioners or genres. While they can be gathered into categories of street scenes, still lifes, collage, radio towers, people – his dynamic approach to image making sits outside of any canonical structure.
Taking Shots is curated by Patricia Allmer, Chancellor’s Fellow at the University of Edinburgh, and author John Sears.
A fully illustrated catalogue, Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs, co-published by The Photographers’ Gallery and Prestel, is available from the Gallery Bookshop.