Having been duped

by Paul Burmeister

Unpacking my studio this morning, I sorted through a box containing smaller boxes of duplicate slides. There were probably over 500 duplicates to sort. Painful work—reviewing 30 years of image-making, most of the originals since discarded or unaccounted. And feeling exhausted by remembering all of the manual labor required by duplicates: taking slides and bracketing exposures, sending good exposures to a duplicating lab, typing up labels individually, and affixing dots to the lower left corner of each mount. . . . and then putting together portfolios of 20 slides and mailing them off, to have the majority of them returned with formal rejection notices. From this morning's work, I kept a few small boxes, two dupes of each image. I'm not sure why.