Interruptions – JoAnn Verburg
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JoAnn Verburg has photographed the narrow streets and passageways of the historic center of Spoleto, Italy, an ancient Umbrian city where she lives part-time. The images depict angled building facades, receding courtyards and transitory corridors that emphasize the subjectivity of perception and observation through calculated shifts in her camera’s focus and perspective. In contrast, Verburg’s tightly cropped, close-ups of Spoleto’s residents are timeless yet grounded compositions. These portraits remain elusive and at the margins of a specific place and time, however, with no immediate reference to their surroundings at-large. When viewed together, the cityscapes become backdrops into which the photographed individuals could wander at any time. Writing about Verburg’s work, distinguished art historian Walter Liedtke notes: “Verburg has learned that all observation, including the seemingly most objective, is always subjective, selective, slanted, focused, blurred, disconnected, or somehow interrupted.”