Kelly Burgess - Photography Portfolio

Sing Me Back Home

published 4/2018

The images in Sing Me Back Home were made on road trips across the United States between 2012-2018. I see the road trip both as an exploration of the external American landscape and as a way to explore an internal landscape through the use of text, image, and repeating themes.
The work in Sing Me Back Home uses the road trip as a means of searching and the exploration of the cultural and social perception of loneliness. But by the act of searching and exploring, ultimately nothing is resolved.
I thought about my work within the context of the history of the American road trip: a coming of age journey that is almost entirely male, particularly within the history of photography and literature. Where did I, a young woman making work about her internal landscape fit within this history?
The work straddles a line between sincere and ironic. I embarked on the project earnestly and as a way to catalogue and express the highs and lows of a heartbreak. As the project
developed, I became aware of the almost ubiquitous nature of my feelings; how they were not unique and how songs on the radio could precisely capture my feelings or amplify them. I leaned into the irony of isolating and creating my own world while simultaneously going out on the road to search for fulfillment.

  










Hello, it's me - 

I've thought about us for a long, long time.

One more song about moving along the highway

Can't say much of anything that's new

If only I could work this life out my way

I'd rather spend it being close to you


But you're so far away

In a little while from now

If I'm not feeling any less sour

I promise to treat myself

And visit a nearby tower

And climbing to the top

Will throw myself off

In an effort to

Make it clear to whoever

Wants to know what it's like

When you're shattered






Everybody sees you're blown apart

Everybody sees the wind blow






And I think it's gonna be a long time

And I think it's gonna be a long time

And I think it's gonna be a long time

And I think it's gonna be a long time

And I think it's gonna be a long time

And I think it's gonna be a long time

And I think it's gonna be a long time

And I think it's gonna be a long time






I came by at seven in the morning

Seven in the morning, seven in the morning

I came by at seven in the morning

I said, "Baby, I'm finally succumbing"

Said something dumb like "I'm tired of running,

Tired of running, tired of running"

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