A little over a year ago, I was showing a friend around the Puces St. Ouen (Paris Flea Market) when I stumbled upon a box of photo negatives. Most negatives in that part of the market were of mass-produced tourist photos, but for some reason on this day, I flipped through the box anyways. The images when held up to the light revealed what appeared to be an archaeological dig. I studied them for a while, and then realizing that I could only afford two negatives- searched for the two that might hold the most answers to the story behind the dig. I discovered two negatives that featured people (with ruins in the background). These negatives followed me around for a few months, until I was in residency at Have Company in Grand Rapids. There John Hanson helped me scan them and convert the negatives into digital files. Kay Westhues, the owner and curator of Art Post Gallery in South Bend made a handful of beautiful prints for me to include in last year's Culture Keeper boxes. I love it when these sorts of endeavors become collaborative.
Despite my best attempts at research, the story behind the images remains elusive. I would love to track down the mysterious people, obviously of differing national origins, we see gathered together. So here is my challenge: If anyone can figure out the identity of at least one person pictured, I will send them one of Ms. Westhue's lovely prints. Spread this far and wide, and help me solve this mystery!