Sunday, January 7, 2007


(thanx Dad for reminding me :)

We all have secrets. Big secrets, small secrets, funny secrets, tormenting secrets, secrets that wipe away the grounds we based our lives upon if they were to be revealed. I read about it a while ago and had a talk with my Dad about it on the phone tonight. PostSecret is a blog started by Frank Warren as an art project back in 2004.

He distributed 3000 blank postcards in Washington D.C at various locations with the note attached to it saying that people should write something both true and secret on the postcards and send them to his house. A form of confession was born and a lot of the cards did come back to him and an exhibition was held. But afterwards, the cards kept coming and word spread further and further. To this date Warren's blog is still delighted with new postcards each week.

What I find most interesting about them is not so much the confessions themselves (although I have to admit that some of them are really hilarious) but more the creativity that comes with them.

Secrets are deeply embedded within us. The seals we place on them are like the ones on the gates to Tartarus - because we know that with the slightest breach Pandora's Box will be opened. Still, every now and then they will surface - in dreams or when we are lost in thought or if we encounter the person or thing the secret is about. Uncontrollably they will rush back to consciousness and haunt or amuse us - secrets are just beneath the surface and ever-present.

We carry them around, burdening us for months, years or even decades. It might even become a form of symbiosis - we've come to rely on our secrets as do the secrets on us for keeping them. Keeping secrets is sometimes the price we have to pay for the life we are living, however skewed that may be. But it is from this close relationship with our secrets that also the artistry is born. In the space of a postcard people pour the complete impact of their secrets. You feel their relief, the emotions that are unleashed and which inspire them to use the space to the fullest and come up with the best visual images and words to describe what they kept silent for so long.

But is this a new phenomenon? Of course not... just go to a Catholic church on Sunday and watch the people standing anxiously in line to open their Tartarus' Gates.

I guess that PostSecret filled a niche for all us unbelievers.

Thanks Frank!


Kworb said...

That's cool.. kind of reminds me of, just more artful. And probably not so many fake ones :)

Astrid said...

haha, Ak had zeker het Volkskrant Magazine gelezen ;)

Jago said...

paar weken geleden stond het in de Sydney Sunday Mail, maar ik denk dat idd Ak het uit M (nrc) of Volkskrant Magazine heeft :)

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