In 1995, Michael Mergen's then best friend Marshall “Mars” Bredt and Mergen drove cross-country, covering over 11,000 miles over six weeks. A year later, Bredt was dead from a heroin overdose. With this work Mergen is returning to places they visited over twenty years ago, presenting archival photographs with contemporary landscapes, and placing snapshots on the site where they were taken. How does one serve as the sole caretaker of shared memories? The work considers what remains of a road trip, of a friendship, of memory, and loss – searching for Mergen's friend, himself, and his place in landscapes at once familiar and new.
Michael Mergen is an artist based in Philadelphia, PA. Born in 1978, Michael earned a BFA in photography from the Rochester Institute of Technology in 2000 and an MFA in photography at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2011. His work considers the political and civic nature of United States and its citizens through the medium of photography. His work has been featured in The New York Times Magazine, Harper’s, Mother Jones, and featured on Timemagazine’s LightBox and Slate. He has exhibited nationally and internationally and his work is held in several public and private collections, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, University of Maine Museum of Art, the Center for Photography at Woodstock, the Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, Urban Outfitters, Inc., and Center for Emerging Visual Artists. He lives in Philadelphia, PA, with his wife and daughter.