All About Photo Awards 2019

Annette LeMay Burke: Fauxliage

Annette LeMay Burke: Fauxliage
Annette LeMay Burke: Fauxliage
This past week I attended the annual Our World Portfolio Review sponsored by San Francisco's PhotoAlliance. It's always a great venue for seeing new work and also discovering projects by photographers that you may have known, but didn't know what they'd been exploring lately. Annette LeMay Burke is one of those photographers for me. She'd had one image in a travel exhibition I'd juried a few years back titled, "The Perimeter of the World," and then it was as if she was traveling the perimeter of the world because I didn't see her again until she sat down at my table at the reviews a few days ago.

Here was a great surprise. Annette had indeed been traveling, making a circuit of the American West, creating landscapes, picturesque landscapes. But wait, what was happening in these views? Something was amiss. In these beautifully composed scenes, there were giant Saguaro cacti and palm trees reflected in crystal clear pools, and a towering pine tree in a barren desert. And therein lay the problem: what was a pine tree doing in the middle of the Mojave Desert with not even a tuft of grass to be seen nearby? I looked a little closer. These weren't real live trees at all. These were what we called "Frankenpines" in Upstate New York where I grew up. The Frankenpine was outlawed in the Adirondacks and we all got accustomed to the fact that once you drove into the park, there would be no cell phone service. Because that's what a Frankenpine is: a cell phone tower disguised as a fake tree. Usually the tree "blends" in with the surrounding foliage.

In Annette LeMay Burke's project, "Fauxliage," this was not always the case. I couldn't help laughing and looking again and then again. It became almost like a game of "Where's Waldo?" in some images because the "tree" looked part of the landscape: a tall palm overlooking a line of U-Haul trucks or a eucalyptus just hanging out next to the side of the road. Other times, they were so cleverly hidden, I gasped. The Holy Trinity at the local church is really 3 cell phone towers? I'm not religious, but this might be a form of blasphemy. Or genius, as the cell phone companies are paying the church good money to plant those there. But sometimes the "trees" stood out starkly in their "native" environments, like what looks like a plastic bright green hula skirt crudely covering a tower buried in an oak forest. Who designed that one? Or another where it feels like you're being watched and then look around the site of a crowded mini golf course to realize that many of the light poles are actually cell phone tower trees. Here is what Annette had to say about Fauxliage (brilliant title, I want to add):

"Fauxliage documents the prolific disguised cell towers in the American West. I was initially drawn to their peculiar appearance; I then found it disconcerting how technology was clandestinely modifying our environment.

This strange array of palms, evergreens, flagpoles, and crosses has been popping up in recent years. The trees and pillars are not what they appear to be; they are a ruse. I photograph the towers to expose their disguises and highlight the variety of forms. I explore how the towers are creating a newly accepted aesthetic in our neighborhoods."

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

I want Annette's project to be a book, one with the texture of the fake bark on the "trees" to be the liner of the inside covers. One that perhaps has a map that reveals the locations of these sometimes incredible, sometimes ridiculous creations. One that I pick up and look at repeatedly and have a good chuckle thinking of the things humankind has done right and done wrong. I find myself now driving around California and the West looking for them. Annette must have a secret to locating them or I'm just too easily fooled because I'm not finding them in the land, only hidden in Annette's photographs, which are, by the way, beautifully seen. Sometimes with the raking light of dusk in the desert bathing the towers with that incredible color that comes on with silence. Other times with the pure light of dawn before the wind has picked up and the air is stirred. Then there are the ones that are lit with the stark noon light where you feel the heat of the concrete city around you and you look up at the tree that offers no shade…only to realize it isn't a tree at all. It's a smart project, this one, and I look forward to its completion with anticipation and excitement. What could these engineers possibly turn into a cell phone tower next? I know Annette LeMay Burke will be the first to let me know.

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Biography

Annette LeMay Burke is a Northern California native who currently lives in the heart of Silicon Valley. She is interested in how we interact with the natural world. Her latest project, Fauxliage, explores how technology is modifying our landscapes, often with idiosyncratic results.

She has a background in earth science, tech, and design, which influences her work today. Her images have a strong graphical aesthetic, often with clean lines and vibrant colors. She examines themes of solitude, introspection, and patterns and processes created by man and nature. She is always on the lookout for the unusual.

Annette's Cuba photos were chosen by Santa Fe Workshops for their 2013 Fall Catalog cover and advertising campaigns both on-line and in print.

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke

Annette LeMay Burke

© Annette LeMay Burke


  Annette LeMay Burke
All About Photo Awards 2019
 
 

More Photography News

News
The Shed Announces Opening Date of April 5, 2019
The Shed Announces Opening Date of April 5, 2019
The Shed Announces Opening Date of April 5, 2019, and Four Additional Opening Season Commissions. The Shed Names Its Innovative Home The Bloomberg...
  Read More
Photographers
Jeffrey Stockbridge: Kensington Blues
Jeffrey Stockbridge: Kensington Blues
American photographer Jeffrey Stockbridge gives a rare insight into the opioid crisis of Kensington Avenue in North Philadelphia. Self published, this...
  Read More
News
FINAL SHOW at The Half King Photo Series...
FINAL SHOW at The Half King Photo Series...
After 8+ years, Half King Photo Series is ending. Please come out January 8 to say goodby, raise a glass, and toast what a fantastic, fun, beautiful...
  Read More
News
Les Uns les Autres by Amnesty International
Les Uns les Autres by Amnesty International
Adopted in Paris by the United Nations General Assembly on December 10 1948, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights - UDHR - represents an...
  Read More
News
Masterklass with Klavdij Sluban 2018 -2019 in Paris
Masterklass with Klavdij Sluban 2018 -2019 in Paris
LeMasterklass is lead by Klavdij SLUBAN, an internationally renowned and apreciated photographer, from December 2018 to November 2019. Unique in its...
  Read More
Events
Angkor Photo Festival
Angkor Photo Festival
Created in 2005, the Angkor Photo Festival is the first such event to be organized in South-East Asia. Each year and for a week the Festival showcases...
  Read More
News
Auction: Photos at the Alliance Française de Los Angeles
Auction: Photos at the Alliance Française de Los Angeles
It's always a delight to insert Art to an event. I have chosen great Photographers who have accepted to propose one piece from their body of work to...
  Read More
News
Denis Dailleux at Paris Photo
Denis Dailleux at Paris Photo
Do not miss Denis Dailleux who will be at Paris Photo in the stand of Galerie 127 to show his latest work from Ghana and sign his photo book "Persan...
  Read More
News
Yusuf Sevinçli: Oculus
Yusuf Sevinçli: Oculus
Oculus is the second solo exhibition by Yusuf Sevinçli at the Galerie des Filles du Calvaire. Five years separate it from Post, the solo show...
  Read More
News
Discover the Jury of All About Photo Awards 2019
Discover the Jury of All About Photo Awards 2019
Our fourth edition of the All About Photo Awards invites photographers from around the world to submit their best work for consideration. In reference...
  Read More
News
ARCHISABLE (or Archisand)
ARCHISABLE (or Archisand)
Archisable is a photographic project of sand architecture designed by Tina Dassault, author and curator, and directed by Michel Tréhet,...
  Read More
News
Crossings: The Magnum Square Print Sale in Partnership with Aperture
Crossings: The Magnum Square Print Sale in Partnership with Aperture
'Crossings' Magnum's Square Print Sale in Partnership with Aperture runs from 9AM EST Monday 29 October until midnight EST Friday 2 November 2018....
  Read More
All About Photo Awards 2019
 
Join our newsletter
Be up-to-date with call for entries, deadlines and other news about exhibitions, galleries, publications, & special events
 
Alghero Street Photography Awards
 
Discover the 5th Issue of AAP Magazine
All About Photo Magazine showcases the winners of AAP Magazine Competitions
 
 
 
The Jules Maeght Gallery is a contemporary art gallery who seeks to engage the San Francisco community by infusing European artists, young and established alike, into a diverse, multimedia dialogue.
 
TAKES U TO THE NEXT LEVEL
 
Since 2005, your guide through contemporary art from a French perspective to let you make exciting choices