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Guest curator Brian Clamp's preview of Burke's exhibition at ClampArt
The intertidal zone is the ground that is exposed to air at low tide and is under water at high tide. It is an intermediated place where opposites commingle and coexist. Jesse Burke
's series 'Intertidal' addresses the ambivalent domain between the heroic ideal of masculinity and the true reality of being male. Through the juxtaposition of photographs, Burke constructs an autobiographical investigation of the incongruousness of the fragility of masculinity.
Burke writes "I photograph my life and the lives of the men in my social and family circles in an attempt to understand from where our ideas of masculinity originate. I am most drawn to the moments that are representative of vulnerability or emasculation; where there is a presence of a rupture or wound inflicted in some way, whether it be physical, emotional, or metaphorical. I employ concepts such as male bonding and peer influence, masculine rites and rituals, homosocial desire, physical exertion, and our connection to one another as well as the landscape that we interact within to expose these instances."
Burke sets his subjects against the backdrop of his native New England, both embracing and critiquing his own absorption and assimilation of the masculine ideal and his ultimate construction of self.
Jesse Burke is an instructor at the Rhode Island School of Design where he received his MFA in photography in 2005. His work has been exhibited in such cities as New York, Tokyo, Milan, Stockholm, Madrid, Miami, and Los Angeles. The exhibition at ClampArt
is complemented by the artist's monograph of the same title from Decode (Seattle, Washington, 2008) with an essay by critic Nate Lippens.