Autrefois, Maison Privée

Powerhouse Books 2004, printed by Steidl

In Autrefois, Maison Privée—the title means “once a private house,” and refers to the prevalent reappropriation of once private houses for municipal and government use—Burke captures the dramatic history of Indochina, from the influence of French colonialism through the rise of communism and the devastating effects of the Vietnam War, to the repopulation of Cambodia after the fall of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge and the opening of the area to capitalism. Burke’s first entrée into the region occurred during the period of Soviet control, a period of recovery that allowed for the current explosion of capitalism, which has already begun to devastate an architectural heritage that had been well preserved in the deep freeze of socialism.

In this selection of pictures of architecture and portraits all made on Polaroid Positive/negative pack film between 1988 and 2000, Burke pays tribute to Eugene Atget and August Sander.