A Photo Catalog of One Woman’s Smashed Mementos

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Sometimes, you just want to gather up all of those leftover mementos from your life — “the sock he couldn’t find after our first fight,” the cigarette “left over the last time I quit for good” — and smash them, tear them, shred them, destroy them into little pieces. Artist Amber Crabbe did just that, deconstructing various memory-infused objects from her life and photographing them in pieces, against a black backdrop. It’s a curious display of the material taxonomy of her personal history. Also, they look cool. Don’t you want to see what “the wedding cupcake, smashed by a vodka bottle in the freezer” looks like? Inventory is on display starting this Friday at the San Francisco Foundation & SOMArts Murphy and Cadogan Contemporary Awards Exhibition. Click through to preview a few artifacts.

What he curled up with when we put him down. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

Rescued from the sidewalk at the end of the birthday no one remembered. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

The lens through which I saw the world for 592 days. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

The last one of the season, picked before he could pollinate it. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

35mg during a fit of sobriety. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

Left over from the last time I quit for good. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

Gifted back when he still thought about me. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

They couldn’t stay kittens forever. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

Her dead mother’s lipstick (it looked better on me). Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

The last Christmas ornament my grandmother sent me. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

The sock he couldn’t find after our first fight. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

What I was gripping during the intervention. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

The wedding cupcake, smashed by a vodka bottle in the freezer. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe

I pretended they weren’t mine. Photo credit: Amber Crabbe