Truth be told, I’ve never stolen anything in my life. Not a boyfriend from another girl, not a single piece of candy, term paper, tube of lip gloss, test answers or anything else that kids are stealing these days. So when I hear stories of people who steal others’ identities as a way of life I have to wonder – where’s the justice? Does karma ever catch up with these people or do they just lollygag through life as someone else until the credit cards are maxed out and it’s time to pick a new name? For many this is probably the case, if they keep their spending low enough and random enough. But for one of these thieves, things panned out a little differently.
As the story goes, in 2011 a photographer named Jessamyn Lovell had her wallet stolen from SF Camerawork a San Francisco gallery. As the unaccounted charges started rolling in, Jessamyn decided to depart the typical path of someone in her shoes and, with the help of a private investigator, tracked down Erin Coleen Hart, the woman who had stolen her identity. What started out as a plot to confront the thief turned into a creative opportunity for Jessamyn. Rather than confront Erin, Jessamyn followed her and documented her daily routine through a series of photographs.
Images source petapixel.com
These photographs, along with others, were used in Jessamyn’s exhibition titled “Dear Erin Hart” which was displayed at SF Camerawork September 3 – October 18, 2014. Moral of the story, while not everyone ‘gets theirs’ so to speak, this story has cemented me in my ways and has made sure my streak of never stealing will continue for years to come. And for those who aren’t similarly deterred, don’t forget to smile – you never know when you could be on camera.
Posted by Gillian