Justine Kurland
[Photographer, b. 1969, Warsaw, New York, lives mostly on the road.]

 There’s something political about creating a world that you want to exist. 
 It seemed clear to me early on that one of the things a photograph could do was make a reality, and I wanted to do that. I always think of looking inside an Easter egg and seeing a perfect world. 
 There’s this way that photography is always about going out searching. I’m not the kind of a photographer who can photograph my home. 
 The naked figures in the landscape have willingly undressed for my camera. They are either perfect beings heroically occupying their Edens, or else they are gardeners after the Fall, lost and exposed to both the elements and the lens. 
 Every adventure I’ve ever had with love and photography has ended in a similar misadventure. As is often the case, the rush of longing detaches from its object of desire, and my photographic ghosts lead me back to myself, alone. 
 We were really poor when I was growing up; my parents, both artists, were bohemians. Life was a desperate struggle, but in service of a high ideal, which is exactly what my photographs are about. 
 The communities I visited are a continuation or remnant of the pioneer dream, and [my] photographs operate inside the American tradition of picturing a more perfect world. 
 I drove from New York to California by myself. The iconography of travel and escape is everywhere in my photographs… So actually becoming a runaway was crucial. I had this idea that I'd make my way across the frontier and find my story as it was actually happening in the landscape. 
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