VICTOR BURGIN Afterlife
Published by Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König, Cologne, 2019.
Victor Burgin bases his text/image narrative work Afterlife on the model of classic ‘photo books’. These typically comprise a collection of photographs with a supporting essay. In Afterlife, writing and photographs have equal status. Burgin conceives of the afterlife as a parallel virtual reality engineered along the lines of a ‘first person exploration’ videogame. In keeping with this premise he makes his photographs with virtual cameras in computer environments built with ‘game engine’ software. Afterlife is an experiment with both a classic book form and a classical myth – a science-fiction variation of the story of Orpheus and Eurydice constructed with lapidary texts and laconic images worked together to invoke ‘images’ understood not as optical phenomena but as psychological events in the mind of the reader.