Justine Kurland, Girl Pictures / Highway Kind — Étienne Ardaens

[Winter 2023]

Étienne Ardaens

Justine Kurland
New York, Aperture, 2020, 144 p. / New York, Aperture, 2021, 144 p.


Two photobooks recently published by Aperture provide an opportunity to rediscover the work of Justine Kurland. The series Girl Pictures, featured in a show at the Mitchell-Innes & Nash Gallery in 2018, appeared in book form in 2020. In its wake, in 2021 Aperture reprinted Highway Kind, first published in 2016. The transposition into book format testifies to a growing interest in Kurland’s images and casts a retrospective eye on her practice.

Over the last twenty-five years, Kurland’s production has been focused mainly on road trips. In a van fitted out for camping, she took months-long trips around the United States with her son, Casper (uninterrupted until he was six, after which they had to settle down so that he could attend school, and then during summer vacations until he was eleven). The American landscape inspired a vast range of pictures about getaways by car, including wide-open spaces and highways stretching into the distance. In this perspective, Kurland’s nomadic practice ties in with the tradition of storytelling – a form of communication that drifts between utopia and realism – about American culture and its peripheries…

[ Complete issue, in print and digital version, available here: Ciel variable 122 – NIGHT ROUNDS ]
[ Complete article, in digital version, available here: Justine Kurland, Girl Pictures / Highway Kind — Étienne Ardaens ]