Author(s): Robert Burley
Over the past decade, photographer Robert Burley has traveled the world documenting the abandonment and destruction of the bricks-and-mortar remnants of the camera and photographic film industry, including Polaroid plants in Massachusetts and the Netherlands and Kodak plants in Rochester, New York, Toronto, and Chalon-sur-Saone, France. The resulting book can be described as a photographic survey of what photography was or has been, in terms of a technology, an enterprise, and an art form. It is also a document of a significant moment in photography s history, a time when technological changes redefined the medium. The essential feature of these factories was darkness--referenced by the title of this book: The Disappearance of Darkness.
Robert Burley is an established artist whose photographic work explores themes related to landscape and architecture. His landscape work attempts to define the transition between city and country through projects which include ORD: O Hare Airfield, Viewing Olmsted, and The Great Lakes. His commissioned architectural work is well known through the design press and he has completed several self-directed projects, among them The Places of Glenn Gould, Instruments of Faith, and House/Home. Burley s photographs have been extensively published and exhibited, and can be found in numerous museum collections including the National Gallery of Canada, Musee de l Elysee, George Eastman House International Museum of Photography and Film, Canadian Centre for Architecture, and the Musee des beaux-arts de Montreal. Books featuring the work of Robert Burley include Viewing Olmsted: Photographs by Robert Burley, Lee Friedlander and Geoffrey James, O Hare: Airport on the Prairie, and The Death of Photography: Robert Burley, Michel Campeau, Alison Rossiter. Work from his project "The Disappearance of Darkness" has been exhibited at the Contact Festival in Toronto (2008), Le Mois de la Photo Montreal (2009), and at George Eastman House/International Museum of Photography and Film in Rochester (2010). Selected images from this portfolio have been published in North America, Europe, and China over the last two years. Robert Burley lives and works in Toronto where he is Associate Professor at Ryerson University s School of Image Arts.