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‘Taking Shots: The Photography of William S. Burroughs

29 January 2014

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.

For more information about the exhibition
For more information about the book

The Photographers’ Gallery, 16–18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW

Exhibition Dates: 17th January  - 30th March 2014

Opening times: Monday - Saturday: 10:00 - 18:00; Thursdays: 10:00 - 20:00;  Sunday: 11:30 - 18:00
Admissions: £4 / £2.50 concs, free entry on Mondays and Thursdays 18:00 -20:00, free entry to under 16s

Image 1: Unknown Photographer Burroughs in the Hotel Villa Mouniria Garden, Tangier Scan from negative 5.6 x 5.8 cm © Estate of William S. Burroughs Courtesy of the William S. Burroughs Estate

Image 2: William Burroughs/Ian Sommerville, Infinity, (Beat Hotel), Paris, 1962 Silver gelatin print on paper mounted on card; Inscribed ‘Ian Summerville’, titled and dated by William Burroughs on the reverse, 17.5 x 26.3 cm
© Estate of William S. Burroughs Courtesy Private Collection, London

Image 3: William S. Burroughs Jack Kerouac, Tangier, 1957 Silver gelatin print, 9.5 x 6.3 cm © Estate of William S. Burroughs Courtesy of the Barry Miles Archive

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