T.J. Proechel, BFA in Photography MICA 2008 and MFA in Art Theory and Practice Northwestern 2014, is a Brooklyn based artist and editorial photographer. His work is invested in documentary practices and uses photography, film and historical materials to reenact and react to various forms of storytelling and historicizing. His work has been shown at the Block Museum (Chicago), The Nash Gallery (Minneapolis), The Beijing Film Academy (Beijing) and the Alice Austen House (New York). Proechel also works as an editorial photographer. Some of his clients include Bloomberg BusinessWeek, Popular Mechanics, The Chicago Magazine, Esquire and Monocle. Today we share T.J.’s series titled, ADAM.
ADAM is an excerpt from a long-term photographic project that builds on the tradition of the American photographic road trip. I embody the trope of the vigilante to explore the economic recession and the foreclosure crisis. The project explores my attempt to actually and conceptually track down a con artist named Adam Burroughs, a real estate con artist who convinced several individuals to invest in renovating foreclosed homes. He disappeared before completing the renovations, taking all the investor’s money and without paying any of the contractors. I was defrauded $4,000 in wages while working as a hired contractor.
ADAM documents my journey from St. Paul, Minnesota to Huntington Beach, California, where Burroughs was last seen. I traveled to houses where Adam once lived and photographed actors as stand-ins near those locations. During my search Burroughs and I began an email correspondence. These conversations explore my search to find him, how each of us understood the theft, and the purpose of an artistic project. The project utilizes my images and our email correspondence to investigate the malleability of identity and escape – to explore the archetype of the American con artist and the economic recession.
To view more of TJ’s work please visit his website.