Artist's Statement

Patrick Murphy

FILM PHOTOGRAPHY; color prints 40 x 60 cm, and 50 x 50 cm; or up to 100 x 66 cm, and 100 x 100 cm, depending on exhibition space.

RESERVED MR. MEMORY is a book published in 2019 in Vilnius containing photographs from my native American South made over a 50-year period. I had numerous photographs published in the pre-internet era, and have exhibited in several European countries, but while time permitted, I wanted to shape a coherent, tangible project—partly in homage to persons no longer alive, partly with an eye to the future, when I will join them. Working with thousands of slides and negatives stretching over decades forced an order on images taken at many times in my life, beginning when I was a teenager with my first good camera. Having lived abroad for over 25 years, working with images from my place of origin proved an exercise in self definition. Revisiting my archives, I found a certain intentionality in material which had sometimes come into existence in a seemingly random fashion.

The book contains 61 color images (59 film, 2 digital) and a text which is an integral part of the project. The text sheds light on my relationship with the people and places pictured, and makes references (sometimes oblique) to antecedents which influenced me. It explains my relationship to photography as a field of endeavor— essentially a life-long passion and practice rather than a profession. The title comes from a pictured sign accidentally seen on a parking lot in Alabama in 1977. Many of the images show things that no longer exist and people who are no longer alive—things and people that now live only in memory, only in these photos. Shown as archival inkjet prints, at 40 x 60 and 50 x 50 cm, or up to 100 x 68 and 100 x 100 cm, depending on original format and the size of the exhibition venue.