"i'm too sad to tell you." is a project that was conceived by jessica williams. it was inspired by a 1970 black and white 16mm short film, w/ the same name by dutch performance artist bas jan ader crying uncontrollably w/ no explanation. the project originally began w/ jessica documenting herself crying but soon opened it publicly. an open call posted on flickr asking people to submit self portraits of themselves crying.
there is now a website w/ over 100 images, each connecting the viewer to the subject's respective website or flickr account. the images are often beautifully sad in their moments of grief. i was reminded of one of my favorite photographs by diane arbus, a child crying. like arbus' portrait of the young child, the emotions in many of these photos are clear and it's hard to not have strong empathy for the crying subject. yet a healthy distance considering we are only given what the subject wants us to see, the tears.
there are hopes of a book this fall. please check out the website here. sadly, no more images are being accepted.
* lovesong of the buzzard by iron & wine.
** all images used by jessica's sweet and kind permission. (images of sofia sjoholm, dee, rina drescher. chris mcveigh, nina coloso, natalie sorenson. chris gauthier, margaret milne and andriew budiman.