OR The Story of How I Bought My Rolleiflex in Memphis, Tennessee
Site – specific installation for the group show SEA ROAD (Andrea G Artz, Alex Brattell, Colin Booth, Karin-Marie Wach). 22 x C-prints 22 cm x 28 cm, Giclée print on archival cardboard, glue, app. 100 cm x 50 cm x 40 cm, Electro Studios Project Space, St Leonards on Sea, 2017.
Four days after 9/11, I returned home to New York to find a troubling message from the Memphis Police Homicide Department on my answering machine. They had discovered my business card in the wallet of a Memphis man who had been murdered… A year earlier, I had travelled along the Mississippi River, taking the Great River Road from Minnesota all the way down to the Mississippi Delta where the river flows into the Gulf of Mexico. I made a two-day stop in Memphis, Tennessee in the hopes of procuring a Rolleiflex. I had coveted this special German camera for some time, but had been discouraged by the prices in New York. On a whim, I decided to drop by Hunt’s Photo Supply to try my luck. They didn’t have any Rolleiflexes on sale; however, another customer offered to sell me his. We exchanged business cards and agreed to meet the next evening in the parking lot behind the camera shop. The next night, in an empty Memphis parking lot and with the sun setting behind me, I slid $350 in cash across the roof of my dusty rental car in exchange for a stranger’s Rolleiflex. In the morning, I continued my pilgrimage along the road that ends at the sea, while that Memphis man took a less fortunate journey.