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Evan Jenkins

Artist Feature

Every week an artist is featured whose single image was published by Der Greif. The Feature shows the image in the original context of the series.

Max Mikulecky - Fugue State

Apr 10, 2019

Fugue State is a collection of photographs that examine the changing landscape of the American west and the notion of self-identity. A fugue state by definition is the loss of one’s identity or the formation of a new identity from sudden, unexpected, purposeful travel away from home. These photographs were made while following the historic Santa Fe Trail between Franklin, Missouri and Santa Fe, New Mexico. Many of these places share the staples of small town America, and in that way, can start to blend together into an American West vernacular. In traveling through the small towns that line the Santa Fe Trail, many of which I was unfamiliar with, I began to feel a loss of connection to my own identity.


If you traveled to the Missouri River in the golden days of the Santa Fe Trail you found yourself at last on the far brink of civilization. Behind you were settlements still raw from the hands of the builders; prairies still steaming from the first spring touch of the plow; then lines of rails, leaping westward, bearing wood-burning locomotives with great smokestacks shaped like inverted cones; then villages where bells swung to and fro on quiet Sunday mornings and people plodded to church along streets lined with ancient elms; then factories and mills, rising with the muddy torrents of the industrial area; then cities where traffic jammed in the streets and theaters dazzled the eye at night. But in front of you, you knew, were opportunity and romance. When you jumped off the west bank of Missouri into the plains country you said goodbye to the best and worst of civilization and entered a region in which the life lived and the people who lived it did not belong at all in the Nineteenth Century of the Occidental world. – R.L. Duffus from The Santa Fe Trail

Artist Blog

The blog of Der Greif is written entirely by the artists who have been invited to doing an Artist-Feature. Every week, we have a different author.

Visual Journal

Apr 14, 2019 - Max Mikulecky

For my last post, I’d like to share some images from what I call my Visual Journal. I’ve carried a 35mm point and shoot camera with me since 2013 and have used it to document moments in my life. I really love the aspect of not being able to delete or erase these images without sacrificing the entire roll. It typically takes me a couple of weeks at a minimum to shoot an entire roll of film on this camera. The time stamp serves as a specific record and I find the chronological gaps in the images to be really interesting. Those gaps make me consider how much is going on in my life at any given time, and how much wasn’t recorded and for what reasons. As time has gone by, the plastic camera has deteriorated. Lint from my back pocket has clouded the auto focus system and therefore more recent moments are softer than my sharper past. Overall, the collection of photos are a synopsis of my history from the last 6 years.

Found Slides, Bergen Street

Apr 13, 2019 - Max Mikulecky

I was riding my bike through Brooklyn a few weeks ago when I saw what looked like at least a hundred slide transparencies scattered across Bergen Street, from the sidewalk into the bicycle lane. I immediately circled back to take a closer look.

My family has an immense collection of family photos in slide-form: musty smelling boxes and projector carousels, already loaded with slides in an image sequence dating back half a century. When I go back to Kansas for the holidays, I sometimes convince my parents to pull out one of those carousels for a quick slideshow. Images of old apartments, college girlfriends, hiking trips, and younger versions of themselves flash by with the satisfyingly mechanical sound and smell of the hot projector. Though I know the photographers behind those images, they might as well be found slides, as everything in those slides was taken well before my existence.

This personal connection made the sight of the discarded slides all the more shocking. I felt guilty scooping up as many as I could. Looking over my shoulder, I wasn’t sure if I had just taken someone’s art, family history, garbage, or all of the above.


Thrift Store Cameras

Apr 11, 2019 - Max Mikulecky

Whenever I’m driving through a new town, I try to stop by the local Goodwill or Salvation Army thrift store in hopes that I might find a film camera with film still loaded inside. It seems like these finds are rarer these days, but a couple times a year I’ll come across a camera, buy it, and develop the film that was inside.

I don’t know if the people in these photographs will ever see these images, and if they do, I’m not sure how they’ll react. I ask myself who these people are or were, why were these moments worth recording and why didn’t they finish off that roll of film before donating the camera.

I’m interested in the combination of voyeurism mixed with revealing and preserving these anonymous memories.