“If your house was burning, what would you take with you? It’s a conflict between what’s practical, valuable and sentimental. What you would take reflects your interests, background and priorities. Think of it as an interview condensed into one question.”
~ Foster Huntington
Illustrated with witty, sometimes moving and unusual photographs of people’s most cherished possessions, The Burning House celebrates the differences between people around the world—and the unexpected common threads that unite us.
The project was started in late April 2011 while Huntington was still living in New York City, germinating as an idea on a subway trip home to a tumblr site weeks later. Huntington soon found himself signing a book contract, traveling the States in an old VW van, and dawning a new perspective. The project grew beyond the questions raised by the visual images—it became an introspective journey to discover what is truly valuable in life?
Content and Structure of the Book
Image based content dominates the book, while including vital stats of the individual’s chosen belongings. The ages range from teenagers to senior citizens. The photographs are just as varied, ranging from surf boards, to iPhones, to teddy bears.
A Few Favorites
Name: Audelino Moreno
Location: Madison, Wisconsin
Occupation: Art Director
Vintage Map Meters
Favorite Chambray Shirt
Small gift box
Name: George Yanakiev
Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Occupation: The online guy @ ad agency
Name: Manuel Platzer
Occupation: Digital Media
Book: “Behind the Zines: Self-Publishing Culture“
Book jacket and a book
Photo of girlfriend
“The Impossible“ darkslide
Handmade T-shirt by my girlfriend
The Burning House is a beautifully realized compendium of the human condition. Each photograph is a portrait of the person’s interests, longings, and prized possessions. It expands the point of view we tend to take in our everyday lives. Personally, I found this book to be a treasure trove of inspiration. It allowed me to take a moment from all the educational material out there and expand on what drew me to photography and art in the beginning—capturing the value of a moment in time.
If The Burning House has sparked your attention, you may also want to pick up the title PostSecret, a collection of anonymous post cards detailing extraordinary confessions from individuals throughout the world.
To purchase The Burning House for under $15, click here.
Until Next Time . . .
Stay Inspired ~ Jules