1947, Netherlands Antilles. After finishing my studies in political and social sciences, aquiring a Phd, and a few years teaching at university I chose to pursue a career as freelance fotographer/ jourrnalist, specialising in social documentary photography in and of developing countries (see f.i. www.roelburgler.nl)
As a counterbalance I do 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, kosmic and under-water pictures
My aim, with my autonomous art, not my documentary 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, hand back 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 etc. .
My basic idea is that the responsibility for the meaning of art should be with the viewer. I hope my photo's trigger the viewer's associations, feelings and fantasy - all of which belong to the viewer and are the responsibility of the viewer, thus making the viiewer 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 (some of the results can be seen here), but I have come to the conclusion that the picture I take should practically allready be the end result. As this is an ongoing project in the future I may fall back on tecniques and approaches I have experimented with in the past.
Economics, Political and Social sciences, Ma, PhD, various specialised courses in photography,
numerous group and solo exibitions, amongst others Aids in Africa, traditional healers, Dani cremation, vocational training (Guinea Bissua, Zimbabwe), and globalisation (tradtional archery in Bhutan and Zeeland (a province in the Netherlands). I also made a photo book on the same subject and a museum exposition including artifacts. Also group exibitions of my autonomous work as part of the Nooderlicht photo festival, Art festival Eindhoven