Too Hard to Keep
Jason Lazarus’s photo archive Too Hard to Keep, is a repository for photographs both too painful to keep and too meaningful to destroy. This on-going and expanding project will be displayed in two parts: an installation of photographs from the archive and a “drop box.” Anyone can add to the archive by depositing pictures in this box.
Submissions may include photos of friends, family, pets, places/objects too hard to view again, etc. The reason you can’t live with the photo or photo album I do not need to know… Lazarus is creating a repository for these images so that they may exist without being destroyed. Please dictate whether the images you submit to the archive are images not to be shown again, or images that may be exhibited in the future with other submissions to the archive.
Here is a story from a recent submission:
I overheard a girl at a party talking resentfully about her ex-boyfriend, and feeling excited and opportunistic, I told her about my project. After a few weeks of emails, she invited me over to pick up some photos. We sat together as she sorted through a remainder of a large pile of pictures of her and her ex-boyfriend. Incidentally, her new boyfriend sat with us over this ritual. More than ever during this project, I felt a part of a narrative photographically as well as personally. The 140 some odd photos she submitted are a fantastic contribution to the archive–we have familiar faces dotting different landscapes, seasons, hairstyles, etc, but the same eyes, the same smiles, the same commitment to image themselves, together, in moments grand and banal. Their time together, four years total, reveals the way photography bookmarked moments, and begged of them a consistent engagement in building an archive together. Her contribution is a particularly incisive example of a submission that is a trauma, built over a significant amount of time and experience, that is less about inexplicable narratives then a familiar and traceable pattern of togetherness, intimacy, and visual rhythms…-Jason Lazarus
Too Hard to Keep the installation is now on view as part of the group exhibition at The Queens Museum of Art, Not the Way You Remembered. On view through August 14, 2011.
Jason Lazarus graduated from Columbia College (Chicago) in 2002. His photography has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Hyde Park Art Center, and Andrew Rafacz (formerly Bucket Rider) Gallery, Chicago. The Too Hard to Keep archive was recently profiled on National Public Radio. He lives and works in Chicago and is represented by Andrew Rafacz
For project inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org