Like postsecret, but more unsettling!
August 12, 2010 6:38 AM   Subscribe

"I have started an archive of photographs deemed "too hard to keep." The reason you can't live with the photo or photo album I do not need to know..."
posted by showbiz_liz (36 comments total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
 
I love this. Thank you.
posted by Locative at 6:48 AM on August 12, 2010


This one is good.
posted by TedW at 6:55 AM on August 12, 2010


Just trying to imagine the stories behind these photos is heartbreaking. Post-secret has always felt oddly invasive to me, even though it's voluntary. Like I'm accidentally overhearing an argument through the wall.

This is more like glimpsing someone crying on their front step from a passing bus.
posted by Happy Dave at 6:58 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


It took me a moment to realise what I was looking at here.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:17 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


This makes me want to shoot myself.
posted by aramaic at 7:21 AM on August 12, 2010


This was created as some sort of asexual Rule 34 right?
posted by public at 7:26 AM on August 12, 2010


This makes me very uncomfortable.
posted by Gator at 7:31 AM on August 12, 2010


This is both incredibly fascinating and devastatingly heart-breaking.

As a few others have said, I feel a little like I have just overheard all these couples having an argument and breaking up.
posted by iwillcatchthebird at 7:38 AM on August 12, 2010


jesus god
posted by sonic meat machine at 7:49 AM on August 12, 2010


The pictures themselves are not heartbreaking, but the things you imagine by looking at them are, maybe because it just evokes our own heartbreak, the one we tried to avoid by not looking at our own pictures that were too hard to keep?

I burned one of mine, almost 10 years go. Fuck I'm old.
posted by TheyCallItPeace at 7:50 AM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


This is so upsetting because I have too many of my own.
posted by MsVader at 7:55 AM on August 12, 2010


The next time a fiction writer has a block, well, turn to this.
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 7:57 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


I think this is an excellent art piece that forces the view to confront similar experiences in their own life. It's all voluntary (people sending in their photos), and it forces the viewer to confront what we wish to forget -- or almost forget, as these photos will be kept on the internet for a long time. It raises the question of what we end up with after painful experiences. It's a bit dualistic -- these people don't want to remember these experiences again (hence sending them away) but these people also don't want the experiences to be erased from the Earth completely (hence sending them to someone). How does it make submitters feel to not have to see these images again, but know the images are out there? Neat!
posted by Peter Petridish at 8:07 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


Really good site man, lovely idea and nice to have an alternate to post secret. I like how it;s just the picture - you are to make up the story - really lovely stuff all be it very heartbreaking and moving.
-Tidy up the copy on the site a bit man, "Submissions may include photos of friends, family, pets, places/objects too hard to view again, etc." sounds a little cold and not too warming.

But that minor detail aside - very impressed Jason, make sure you keep it up.
posted by Cogentesque at 8:11 AM on August 12, 2010


I have lots of photo albums dating back to the 1920s carefully and often artfully documenting generations of my family.

As no-one from my own generation has children, when I die whole family lines will die with me. Whenever I imagine these albums going into a dumpster, which they inevitably will, I cry.
posted by kinnakeet at 8:12 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


I made it to the page with the cocker spaniel and could go no further.
posted by Dr. Zira at 8:18 AM on August 12, 2010


This is beautiful in the hurtiest and humanest way possible. I have pictures like this. I keep telling myself I'm saving them and storing them and moving them and copying them so I can delete them or burn them at a meaningful time later. I don't question myself too deeply about this. I thought of sending them in to this and destroying them. But I know I'd pray for them to be posted. And bookmark them if they were. So I'd always know where they are. And then copy them in case the site disappeared. And then save them and store them and move them and copy them...

The past is such a tyranny sometimes.
posted by umberto at 8:19 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


Is this something that I'd need to care about people to understand?
posted by humboldt32 at 8:21 AM on August 12, 2010


This is great and subtly heartbreaking. I just visualized a photo of a smiling couple that is carefully stuck in between two old journals face down in case of accidental unearthing and teared up a little bit.
posted by Babblesort at 8:24 AM on August 12, 2010


Is this something that I'd need to care about people to understand?

No - there are some pet pictures too.
posted by fritley at 8:40 AM on August 12, 2010 [1 favorite]


My first thought on seeing this was, "They broke up with Steely Dan?"
posted by umberto at 8:46 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


It took me a moment to realise what I was looking at here.

Christ, I wish I hadn't clicked that. Now I have stuff in my eyes. Also, sobbing from the memories.
posted by rtha at 9:10 AM on August 12, 2010


I should upload my dewy fresh bride photos from the last century
posted by infini at 9:45 AM on August 12, 2010


sonic meat machine: "jesus god"

That's where I stopped. So, yeah.
posted by Splunge at 10:22 AM on August 12, 2010


It's like snippets from a hundred Lacuna, Inc. files.
posted by Anyamatopoeia at 10:25 AM on August 12, 2010 [3 favorites]


This is sort of like an inverted version of Cute Overload, where the emotional impact of each image makes me compulsively move to the next one, even though I know I'm being overstimulated / over-distressed. I really love the concept behind the project, but I hope Lazarus keeps his word and maintains the archive that is being entrusted to him.
posted by LMGM at 10:51 AM on August 12, 2010


My first thought on seeing this was, "They broke up with Steely Dan?"

Thanks umberto. Hilarious. That made my day!!
posted by Seekerofsplendor at 12:01 PM on August 12, 2010


I just don't understand what is going on with this. To me it seems like a bunch of random, unrelated photos. Can someone explain or give a hint as to what makes these photos different? "To hard to keep" entails a lot of different things. Or maybe I'm just super dense and don't get it.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 12:25 PM on August 12, 2010


KevinSkomsvold, I don't know if this will help: it may be that you need to have such an object to understand what one means.

I have some photos like this, yes. Also, buried in a box in my basement I have an old, tattered copy of The Name of the Rose. A bunch of pages are missing. I have a nice hardbound copy on my shelf upstairs. But in that book, on a page number I have memorized, is a short inky sentence or two. Words from someone who no longer feels that way. Words that are a fossil of something that seems to have had so much meaning for me, more than I knew, and certainly more than the person who wrote those words really knew or felt. I can't look at those words because they make me long for something that has been dead so long I'm the only one that remembers it. And I can't throw it away for the very same reason. Cause once that's gone, it never happened.

I think these photos are things like that. And if you have one of these things, then the photos are intriguing, because boring as they mostly are, they contain some sort of secret power over somebody.
posted by umberto at 12:51 PM on August 12, 2010 [9 favorites]


I guess photos of you kissing your ex in what was then a really goood moment in time for the two of you doesn't make you dewy-eyed.

Yeah, me neither. The only reason I hide old photos like is because of rule #1 in keeping boyfriend happy: Never let him know you kissed any other boys. ever.
posted by dabitch at 12:51 PM on August 12, 2010


thank you umberto

for helping me deal with the wedding album tucked behind my mother's old bedsheets at the top shelf of her cupboard a couple of continents and a century away

I've never thrown them away when by all rights I should burn them but why do I keep them where there's no happy memory from day one. don't even remind me of my "wedding night"... he passed out drunk and snoring like every single day since

otoh they are photographs of me looking beautiful as a richly dressed indian bride, something I'm very likely never to be again

some day I'll know what do with them. in the meantime I keep one, a close up in my finery, with the full regalia down to the red and white dots painted over my eyebrows, the complex bindi in the middle and the hundred and one gold things sparkling from my hair, my nose and my ears... all kohl eyed and dusky

she was so full of hope that day, so many years ago
posted by infini at 12:57 PM on August 12, 2010 [5 favorites]


Never let him know you kissed any other boys. ever.

LOL at 44
posted by infini at 12:58 PM on August 12, 2010


umberto: "KevinSkomsvold, I don't know if this will help: it may be that you need to have such an object to understand what one means."

I think I understand what you mean, umberto. I have a lot of those objects. My three yellowed journals from the psych wards are filled with god-knows-what and I am terrified of reading them. Thanks for your response, umberto.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 1:14 PM on August 12, 2010 [2 favorites]


Who takes pictures of themselves kissing or snuggling? Well, lots of people, but why? They're posed photographs... I always feel like those photos must not be genuine and probably read that into their expressions. LIke this one. I can't tell which, if either of them, wants to be there.
posted by cmoj at 3:14 PM on August 12, 2010


This one (the Steely Dan reference) made me wonder if that's the spot someone jumped from or fell from.
posted by jaimystery at 4:01 PM on August 12, 2010


Who takes pictures of themselves kissing or snuggling? Well, lots of people, but why? They're posed photographs...

Because its new, and you haven't taken a photo like that before. Because it seems to be going so well. Because for one bright, shining moment you are happier than you have ever been and recording it seems like such a good idea.

And then it all turns to shit.

I have such photos. Not sure I want to send them to the internet.
posted by Sparx at 12:36 AM on August 13, 2010


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