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Katie Merz


I grew up and was formed by Brooklyn of the 1970's.

I began making these photo constructions while looking for a way to depict the non-linear way that memory describes itself. This surreal and drifty narrative is both nostalgic and intimate. I am genuinely searching for a new, non-book way of storytelling and this is what it looks like.

This is the first chapter in a long series that will unfold itself over the web, Instagram and particular online venues.

























To Brooklyn

The Brooklyn that I live in today is entirely
different from the Brooklyn
that I grew up in.

This is a story about what is gone.
A Brooklyn that is no longer.
This is a lament,
a recollection
and a love story
to a place that no longer exists
and that I love

Brooklyn in the nineteen seventies -
a city so flawed-
so tattered and so utterly neglected
that it held within itself
a ruined character
that we read
as complete.

The city back then was a scrap heap of trespassers:
time had no dollar sign
trouble had a tempo
and a city block was a path
to an unknown story
that you
made up
while walking down the street.

This place was shunned and dirty,
dire and bleak
There were no rules,
no parents and no money.
We were hounds for trouble and mad for play.
We were a breed of crafty and kinetic street rat
that could look for, and cause crisis
in any garbage, box, bridge, lot or tree.
We scoped fights, got mugged and loved it.
We rode bike, named bums and owned streets.

Our crusty and urban genius
created a tandem world of mayhem
within a city that was falling to pieces
with an energy
that we grasped, used and breathed.

To live inside this place
Was to live a certain
waking dream.

It was here,
in this perfect and vacated mess
that we took infinite
to just




Katie Merz

KATIE MERZ will participate in a popup outdoor show with Max Ferro of Ferro-Strouse Gallery in various street locations around New York during the Summer 2015. She has an upcoming solo show of drawings at Wendy MacDaris Gallery, New York.


The Brooklyn Rail

JUNE 2015

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