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Too Hard To Keep

  • Lazarus Aufruf.jpg

    © Jason Lazarus: "Too Hard To Keep", since 2010

  • thtk 08.jpg

    © Jason Lazarus: "Too Hard To Keep", since 2010

  • thtk 03.jpg

    © Jason Lazarus: "Too Hard To Keep", since 2010

  • thtk 10.jpg

    © Jason Lazarus: "Too Hard To Keep", since 2010

Send us your unwanted photos!

Photographs of lost friends, embarrassing party excesses or disastrous snapshots – images that evoke memories that are too painful to deal with, but also too valuable to banish them from life completely: “Too Hard To Keep” – as the title of the project by Jason Lazarus says.
In 2010 the Florida-based artist began calling on the public to send him photographs that are associated with embarrassing or painful memories. All contributions have been carefully archived since then. He is continuing his project for the exhibition “Innere Sicherheit / The State I Am In” at the 2016 Photoszene festival.

Participation in the project “Too Hard To Keep”

Everyone who feels addressed by this concept is invited to make unlovely and unpleasant images that were previously hidden away in boxes in attics and basements available to the artist. They can be digital or analogue photographs, framed pictures or photo albums. The condition is that digital images should be deleted from the submitter’s own computer prior to sending.
Every submitter is free to choose whether their contribution is going to be shown publicly with other works from the archive, or only from the back. Points in the image can also be overpainted with a pen, if desired.
No explanation of why these images are tarnished by unpleasant memories, or any submitter information, is required. The photographs will be on show, detached from their context, from 16 September until 25 October 2016 at Sankt Gertrud: kirche + kultur (the artist reserves the right to make a selection).

An archive against forgetting

For the sender, it can be a liberation or catharsis to part with the images. For the beholder, diverse freedoms of association arise under the aspect “Too Hard To Keep”.
As the archive constantly renews itself, images are given new contexts again and again. Now more, now less evidently, deeply personal moments reveal themselves, hit a nerve with beholders’ hunger for sensation. The latter experience the emotions from a safe distance, without being affected themselves.

Placing the decision of how the commemorative images are going to be presented in the sender’s hands shows sensitive dealing with personal concerns. Without revealing or exposing oneself, taking leave from the images harbours the opportunity for closure. The images simultaneously regain their importance: “a place that gives the images another kind of poetic possibility” (Jason Lazarus interviewed:

In the context of the exhibition “Innere Sicherheit / The State I Am In”, the association of emotions and memories and the question of the importance of photographs for reminiscing about the past is at the focus.

Jason Lazarus (*1975) lives and works as an artist, university teacher, curator and author in Florida. His long-term project “Too Hard To Keep” began in 2010 and is arranged as a digital archive. Jason Lazarus completed his studies at Columbia College, Chicago in 2003. Taking photography as his basis, he creates installations in space using objects and digital data.

Participation info

Photographs, digital or analogue, photo albums or other photographic items can be sent directly to Photoszene until 1 September 2016. Please note that you must mark the envelope with “THTK”.

Internationale Photoszene Köln
Stichwort: “THTK”
Körnerstr. 6-8
50823 Cologne

Digital photographs must be deleted by the sender after sending. Image rights are transferred to Jason Lazarus upon participation.
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