John Michael Kilbane is a photographer from Illinois. He studied literature at Marquette University and University College London and has since held jobs in publishing and at an independent bookstore in Brooklyn until joining the General Studies program at the International Center of Photography in 2016, where he graduated this June. He became interested in photography through books and continues to use it as an excuse for encountering new places.
Robert Moses Can’t Drive
This project began as an open-ended inquiry into photographing along the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, thinking of the highway as a river that flows, albeit in fits and starts, through the boroughs of New York. This anti-road-trip became less a documentation of how the road itself has disrupted neighborhoods and more of a provisional, personal way of looking at the spaces created by the BQE more than 50 years after its creation. Countless writers and theorists of modernity have considered this particular urban space, but photography seems like a medium uniquely suited to the type of descriptive, ambiguous goals of these pictures. As the work progressed over the last year, it seemed like the photographs were a way to counter the auto-oriented visual world that characterizes major interstate highways. At a broader level, the photographs are a continuation of the strand in photo history of observational work and of work in which the framing of the world creates new relationships available only in the photograph.
To view more of John’s work please visit her website.