Rosemarie Zens – Journeying 66
These photographs by Rosemarie Zens, a crossover-artist who works in both photography and literature, are testimonies to the legendary Route 66 and our collective memories of the 1960s way of life commonly associated with it. Over 40 years ago, Zens followed the siren call of freedom "on the road." She then retraced her journey in 2010, witnessing how the highway had in the meantime been transformed into a kind of museum. Out of a mixture of private memories and allusions to social ideologies and media myths, the photographer has developed a unique pictorial language with which to express this experience. What interests her most is how the myths of the road can be related to one another – from image to reflection to image – to create a slightly absurdist, surreal and yet contemplative perspective.
"From the very beginning this question: is it possible to subvert a myth without ironically breaking it, to modify it with one's own insertions? This myth – long an element of our collective memory – holds in our subconscious the images from John Steinbeck's socially-critical novel The Grapes of Wrath (1939) woven together into the all-American going on the road – there's always something to find that is better, there is something new down the road, around the bend."