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October 18, 2007 - Image 81

Resource type:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2007-10-18

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Arts & Entertainment


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I've Got


A Secret

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A new exhibit at the Janice Charach
Gallery lets visitors in on a world of hidden
dreams, fears and hopes.

Elizabeth Applebaum
Special to the Jewish News

"Every day that I've called in sick over
the last four years was spent at a nudist


hey are hidden between silky,
pastel gowns in a corner dresser,
tucked between thick files at an
office, scribbled in a diary with a frosty-
pink cover, packed in a box in a dusty
basement that smells of old,
forgotten things, and
right there in front of
you, but just a whisper,
a bit of an unseen dance
on the air, a quiet flutter,
as of a bird's wing.
Secrets are everywhere.
But many are no longer
quite so secret.
Frank Warren was a
small-business owner in
Maryland when he began
what he thought would be
a simple community art
project called PostSecret. It

started in November 2004 when Warren
invited everyone to anonymously submit,
on a postcard, a secret.
Three years later, PostSecret com-
prises more than 175,000 postcards, is
the world's largest advertising-free blog,
is featured in four books (the most recent,
A Lifetime of Secrets, was just published
by HarperCollins) and is an art exhibit
headed to Metro Detroit.
"PostSecret" opens 6:30 p.m. Thursday,
Oct. 25, at the Jewish Community Center
of Metropolitan Detroit's Janice
Charach Gallery. The open-
ing-night program will feature
Frank Warren and includes
postcards both from the
national collection and local
contributions. The exhibit
runs through Dec. 20.

"I put a 'Girl Power' stick-
er on a neighbor's redneck
pickup truck."*

It all began, appro-
priately enough, with

Frank Warren grew up in a family who
kept many secrets, "hidden stories that are
kind of like dark matter in the universe,'
he says. As an adult, Warren remembered
wondering about those secrets and knew
that everyone had them. With PostSecret,
he saw the opportunity to "search out
those parts of our lives that we try to

that makes you uncomfortable because it's
true? And then what do you do with that
realization? Do you share with others? And
if you do, how does revealing it change
That's where PostSecret comes in. Often,
Warren says, he hears back from those
who have sent in cards. Writers tell him
how "revealing the
journey has been."
Postcards pictured in this story are from Metro Detroiters
Once the intimate,
who contributed to the "Post-Secret" exhibit. Some appear
and sometimes
similar because they were created during a JCC "Secret"
difficult, details
party that provided "scrapbooking" materials.
of their lives have
been made public
(even anonymously), people come to see
(True to his commitment to keep all
truths about themselves that might other-
secrets anonymous, Warren prefers not to
wise have always remained suppressed.
reveal his own, from his life today or his
Though the cards come from around
childhood, though he puts one in each of
the world, the themes they express are
his books.)
the same: loneliness, joy, anger, content-
On the surface, it sounds simple.
ment, fear, frustration, in short, "the full
Everyone knows what a secret is, and
spectrum of human emotions',' Warren
everyone has at least one.
says. This poses the question, why do we
"But when you discover a secret about
keep so many secrets? He adds, "Are we
yourself, what do you do with it?" Warren
conditioned not to share ourselves?"
asks. "Are you inspired and do you find
strength, or do you recognize something
I've Got A Secret on page 22C

October 18 2007


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