July 31, 2012 Author: Anne Sophie Merryman
It may be argued that the postcard functions as a memento, albeit a foreign memento. It is the reminder of something not lived by one, but rather experienced by another. An image with no relation whatsoever to its recipient and which, were it not for the written words on the back of it, would serve a merely visual purpose, becomes infused with personal significance. This is the case with Mr. Merryman’s Collection, a book that compiles all of the postcards collected by Anne-Marie Merryman between 1937 and 1980, and which were inherited by her granddaughter Anne Sophie.
Despite having never met, Annie Sophie’s grandmother’s postcards bridge the temporal distance between the two, whereby the postcard serves an ulterior purpose, as the memento of a memento. It serves as the reminder of something not experienced, something never before lived by its recepient, but which somehow enables a bond between two people whose paths, likewise, never crossed.
The images which constitute Mrs. Merryman’s Collection take one from Germany to colonial Africa and Latin America, in a journey that, despite its lack of relation or personal relevance to Mrs. Merryman herself or Anne Sophie, attests to the power of photography, even in the most vernacular of forms.
Reviewed by Renata Bittencourt Grasso