From 1997 to 2001, Justine Kurland collaborated with teenage girls on a series of staged photographs taken in lush landscapes throughout America. She continued the work in New Zealand as an artist-in-residence at the Auckland Art Gallery. This work was published in 2001 in her book Spirit West.
A 1998 graduate of Yale University’s MFA photography program, Kurland has been included in group exhibitions worldwide and has been the subject of one-person shows at Artists Space (1998) and Gorney, Bravin, and Lee (2001), both in NYC. For her most recent series, Kurland traveled across the U.S. photographing people from rural communes. The work was included in the 2003 exhibition Strangers: The First ICP Triennial of Photography at the International Center for Photography in NYC.