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Janet: Time Travel With A Massachusetts Woman (1961-1975)

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“In two recently purchased photo albums filled with over 300 meticulously labeled snapshots spanning the years 1961-1975, a carefully posed young woman named Janet is doing things both glamorous (visiting Paris! sunbathing in Athens!) and mundane (showing off her new garage doors, eating an ice cream sundae),” writes Lauren Leja. “Flipping through a 14 years of birthday parties, vacations, Christmases and new coats, the viewer feels like she is watching a documentary about Janet, a pretty teenager from Massachusetts, as she morphs into Janet, a middle aged woman still living at home with her parents.

“There’s a fascinating duality to the photographs, an everyday intimacy combined with a strange detachment: Janet is perfect, like a Hollywood heroine posed against an ever- revolving backdrop. Who is she and perhaps most intriguingly, who is the photographer? A sibling, neighbor or lover? Possibly even a self-timer? Each snapshot becomes another chunk of our invented narrative of Janet.”


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Follow Lauren at Invisible Commute and BOXLOT.

  • Mark Poutenis

    Give us more Janet! Man, this is so surreal …. I grew up one town over from the second town mentioned (Littleton) and currently live a few towns away. This is both creepy and beautiful.

  • Freakanatcha

    Janet is a David Lynch movie waiting to happen.

  • BOB

    Fantastic piece, best site on the internet!

  • Great find – I wonder if you picked it up on Ebay or a thrift shop? Being a Massachusetts native myself, I just had to check it out – great mystery and photos – wow! Btw, posted about your blog on my blog! Cheers!