William S. Burroughs, the author of Beat classics such as Junky and Naked Lunch, lived in the underground locker room of an 1880’s YMCA building on the Lower East Side of New York City. The apartment was famously known as The Bunker, and throughout the 1970’s was a regular meeting place for artists, musicians, and writers of the era. The space has remained as Burroughs left it when he moved full time to Lawrence, Kansas in 1981 and currently is used as a meeting space for Buddhist teachings. Burroughs’ bedroom and kicthen are intact, and the images in “Burroughs: Object From The Bunker” have been made from many of his personal effects that are still in place today.
By removing these objects from their context and isolating them against a white backdrop, they exude an iconographic presence. Stripped of their relationship with the whole space, they become stand-ins for Burroughs. They serve to create a faceless portrait.
Peter Ross is a New York City based portrait photographer, who’s previous projects have included work with spiritualists in upstate New York and Florida, brickmakers in Kabul, Afghanistan, and ongoing portraits of contemporary cultural fugures. www.heypeterross.com.