JOANN VERBURG – After/Before

August 21, 2019

​​JoAnn Verburg – After/Before
January 26 – March 11, 2017
Colorado College, Colorado Springs, CO

JoAnn Verburg – After/Before
August 21 – October 20, 2019
Ross Art Museum, Ohio Wesleyan University

After/Before presents the perils and seductions of consumerism, using the canals of Venice as a locus. In this new series, acclaimed photographer JoAnn Verburg investigates a global issue – the pollution of the world’s water systems – through a close examination of detritus found in a single location. Eliding the dangers of heavy-handed social commentary, Verburg’s nuanced and hauntingly beautiful series draws attention to the tragedy that the proliferation of trash in the environment represents, while simultaneously acknowledging the inherent satisfactions of our love affair with consumer goods.

To create the series, Verburg first photographs or films discarded objects she finds in Venice’s historic waterways. Here, the displaced plastic wrappers, deflated basketballs, corks, and fruit rinds that float in the canals act as poignant signifiers of consumer culture run amok. Armed with these images of found trash, she then sets out to purchase new versions of the discarded objects. In a second series of images, she then presents these everyday items, exquisitely photographed as though they were luxury goods. Placed on pedestals, awash in revelatory light, or located in ornate surroundings, these quotidian commodities transform into objects of profound desire.

JoAnn Verburg, After/Before

JoAnn Verburg, After/Before