July 5 – August 10, 2013
Opening Reception (artist in attendance): Friday, July 5, 2013, 7:00 – 9:00 pm
Public Discussion with the artist: Saturday, July 6, 2013, 2:00 pm
Gallery TPW is pleased to present “Too Hard to Keep,” a site-specific installation by Chicago artist Jason Lazarus, drawn from a growing archive of photographs donated by owners who find them too painful to live with any longer. Initiated in 2010, “Too Hard to Keep” (T.H.T.K.) is a repository for photographs, photo-objects, and digital files that are too difficult for their owners to hold onto, but which are too meaningful to destroy. Bringing together a wide range of anonymous images—including portraiture, landscape and still life—the archive also includes “unshowable” photographs: photographs donated by participants with the stipulation that they are not exhibited publicly, and are instead shown face-down, obscuring the image. Through Lazarus’s installation, which presents a selection of images from the main archive as well as submissions from local donors, the T.H.T.K. archive raises questions that have been the focus of conversations about photography and difficult knowledge at Gallery TPW over the past few years; questions about what we want from photographs, how we understand images that are separated from their producers’ narratives, and why we continue to feel affective attachments to photographs as objects.
“Too Hard to Keep” is part of “Coming to Encounter,” a yearlong series of discursive events and programs at Gallery TPW R&D that experiments with different strategies for looking at difficult images organized by curator in residence Gabrielle Moser.
Interested in submitting to the T.H.T.K. archive?
Donate your photograph to Jason Lazarus at Gallery TPW (1256 Dundas St. West) between July 2 and July 5, 2013, or drop off your print anonymously in the gallery’s drop box during the length of the exhibition. You can also donate photographs directly to the archive by following the instructions at toohardtokeep.blogspot.com