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An Eye for an Eye for Art: Dear Erin Hart

"Goodwill," 2013, by Jessamyn Lovell

“Erin Hart was convicted and served time,” intones an ominous voiceover. But: “It wasn’t enough for Lovell.” Later an interviewer asks the artist, “Was this an eye for an eye?” The supposed hunger for revenge in a March 20 “Today” show segment belongs to Albuquerque’s own Jessamyn Lovell. She’s a UNM instructor, photographer and writer whose documentary art project, Dear Erin Hart, has received worldwide coverage for the intriguing questions it raises about identity, privacy and empathy. After a stranger named Erin Hart stole Lovell’s driver’s license and, soon after, her identity, Lovell went in search of the woman. She ultimately hired a private investigator and trailed the identity thief for a day, photographing her, taking video and interviewing those who’d interacted with her. Then she worked her documentation into a traveling exhibit.

Now SF Camerawork—the very place where Lovell’s wallet was first stolen—has published Dear Erin Hart as a new monograph, which Lovell signs at Central Features (109 Fifth Street SW) on Friday, April 10, from 6 to 8pm. It’s clear that significant cultural baggage lurks beneath the surface of Lovell’s project—that “Today” segment ends with a host’s baffling analysis, “Looks to me like the identity thief just picked the wrong person.” Who would be the right person, I wonder? Central Features • Fri Apr 10 • 6-8pm • FREE • View on Alibi calendar

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