Metro is delighted to support a new exhibition ‘Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs’ at The Photographers Gallery, launched to commemorate the centenary of his birth. Burroughs (1914-1997) was an influential American novelist, essayist and artist, as well as a cult icon but his work as a photographer is rarely acknowledged. ‘Taking Shots’ in the title refers not only to his photography but his obsession with firearms as well as his well-known heroin addiction.
The exhibition is the first to focus on Burroughs’ large photographic works and offers new and important insights into his artistic and creative processes. He used photography partly as a research tool, but also as a medium of aesthetic experimentation. The photographs were processed cheaply and treated as disposable items, many of his photographs bear markings and scratches, and most are not titled or dated.
It features over a hundred of Burroughs’ works, produced by Metro mainly as black and white resin prints
, many of which have rarely or never before seen. The collection includes vintage photographs, collages and assemblages alongside related ephemera such as postcards, magazine and book covers as well as adverts used in Burroughs’ pieces. Additionally the exhibition features ‘Towers Open Fire’ (1963), a short experimental film by Antony Balch influenced by Burroughs’ theories of the image.
The exhibition also celebrates the launch of Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs Publication, a book co-published by The Photographers’ Gallery and Prestel.