What do you do with tangible mementos of grief, love, and loss that accompany the end of a relationship? Do you tuck the love letters away in some dark corner of your closet, perhaps never again to see the light of day? Do you sell the books, the jewelry? Do you rip the reminders to pieces, or burn them in a Craft-esque ritual like I did with my high school boyfriend's gifts? For "Inventory," Amber Crabbe turned her mementos into a heart-rending visual mixtape of broken promises and painful memories. Crabbe takes common, yet heavily symbolic objects, smashes them to bits, frames them on a black backdrop, and provides a brief description of the detritus. The captions not only unlock the mysteries of the broken bits, but offer alarming, evocative, soul-crushing glimpses into some of life's most fragile moments. For instance, a yellow mess of paper reveals: "I saved the wrapping even though he took back the gift." And a broken lipstick tube becomes "Her dead mother's lipstick (it looked better on me)."
See Crabbe's series in-person at the group exhibition, The San Francisco Foundation and SOMArts' Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Art Awards Exhibition, on view at SOMArts through October 2, 2012.
This is also the exhibition accompanying Bay Area Trajectories, which we told you about recently.
Click through to see more of Crabbe's series.