Monday, September 04, 2006

Street Secrets

There is a public art project going on in Philadelphia now and its focus is "confessions" and they are collecting secrets from people and then posting them.

Sound familiar?

The Philly Inky's Natalie Pompilio has an excellent story on the subject here.

She writes:

"Hundreds of collected confessions - written on anything from toilet paper to postcards, scrawled with pens or pencils or markers, crafted both from the heart and as pranks - are on display at the 3rd Street Gallery, on Second Street in Old City. These stories were gathered from 12 confession boxes across Center City."
She also reveals that:
The artists shaping the project said their aim was to have a dialogue with city dwellers - or to encourage residents to have a dialogue with each other. The writings are called "confessions" according to the definition of making oneself known or disclosing one's identity, said Michael Sebright, one of the project's leaders.

"We hoped that people in Philadelphia would find it intriguing," Sebright said, "not in the Catholic sense of confessing something wrong, but in the sense of telling a story about themselves or making themselves known to other Philadelphians."
She also quotes Frank Warren, who essentially invented the whole "secret-as-art" genre as art during the last Art-O-Matic and then made it a worldwide phenomenom through the PostSecret website and through the best-selling book PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives.

What the story does not say is that the organizers had invited Frank Warren's PostSecret to be a major participant in the whole Philly street secret event, but when Warren said that he "did not want to water down the content of the secrets in order to show them in public spaces," he never heard from them again - "until they they started their own secret project."

Anyway, for anyone who wants to see the real PostSecret project, the Reading Public Museum still has a large PostSecret exhibit on until October 8th.

And two more books by Warren will be coming out soon:

My Secret: A PostSecret Book , comes out next month. You can pre-order it here.

And The Secret Lives of Men and Women comes out on January of 2007 and you can pre-order it here.


Heading back to DC tomorrow.