Enigmatic Secrets

About the exhibition

Sometimes, a secret remains secret. Here are my favorite examples of enigmatic or coded confessions that remain elusive. Thousands of secrets have arrived from distant continents in myriad languages. Most of those are easy to translate. But what about the ones where it may be impossible even to identify the language?

An Encoded Journey

The mysterious secret below was submitted in 2004 and was the first of a never-ending stream cryptic postcards that have found their way to my mailbox over the years. Does this composition look more like a dream than a message?

This black and white photo is the most recent unsolved secret sent to PostSecret. What is the whole story? Do we ever really fully understand another person’s secret? Add your thoughts in the comments.

A collection of secret languages inviting you into unknown worlds.

What’s your guess?

This cipher has received so many creative interpretations from the PostSecret Community. Maybe the most meaningful solution is one the creator didn’t even intend.

Redacted Secrets

Why would someone write their secret, make it illegible, and then mail the secrets? Maybe it was too painful to see, or share. I hope the act of letting it go was helpful.

Code Making, Code Breaking

What are these numeric codes and apparent random letters hiding?

A Secret Formula?

Secret Beauty

I may not understand these secrets but I still find them delightful, poetic, deep.

Discover, Deconstruct, Decode

Thankfully, the PostSecret Community has been very generous and inventive in sharing their hive mind to shine light on what is hidden on these postcards. Some of these messages may never be deciphered, but I hope, like me, you find some intrigue and maybe enlightenment in what we uncovere.

Meaning in Mystery

I know everyone does not appreciate this like I do, but sometimes postcards that are damaged or altered in the mail have even more meaning for me in the mystery.

Do mystery secrets speak more directly to our unconscious?

I think I would appreciate this artful confession less if I understood it more.


Share a secret, see a secret

Thanks for sharing your secret!

Can you imagine being handed a postcard on the street and being asked to ‘share your secret’. Would you ignore the person or take the invitation? Now is your chance to ponder and maybe share your secrets.