Man has always been fascinated with secret societies and their clandestine rites,their covert knowledge, and exclusive circle of members. Secret Societies have existed almost as long as society itself. The character of secret societies ranges from harmless brotherhoods to powerful associations with anything but altruistic financial and political objectives. Particularly in times of crises, secret societies provide surrogate values for the prevailing political, social and technological systems of order.
The exhibition “Secret Societies. To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence” which was on display at the Schirn Kunsthalle from June 23 until September 25, 2011 and which will be shown at CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux from November 9, 2011 until February 26, 2012, deals with the general theme of secret societies through the prism of contemporary art in the current context of media super-exposure – from WikiLeaks to Credit Rating Agencies (CRA), just to quote two current examples. Artists have always been fascinated by the unknown and the occult. But unlike journalists who are mainly focused on investigating present-day news, artists work around the mechanisms of the secret and are better equipped to question the very limits of the ideology of transparency in our era of super-exposure.
The main goal of the exhibition is not to render visible what is invisible nor to uncover secret conspiracies but to highlight through a wide variety of works by contemporary artists, certain questions raised by the sudden and recent outbreak of visibility on the part of secret societies. It is through the paradox that secrets are only secrets if they are communicated, yet disappear as soon as they are out, that this representative selection of artworks relates to secret societies and to society at large.
Secret Societies. To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence is organised by the Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt in collaboration with the CAPC Museum of Contemporary Art, Bordeaux.
From Plato to WikiLeaks, a brief history of secret societies written by Gary Lachman one should absolutely listen to during the visit!
Price included in entrance fee.
Secret Societies. To Know, To Dare, To Will, To Keep Silence
With a preface by Max Hollein and Charlotte Laubard. Texts by Michael Bracewell, Ina Blom, Gary Lachman, Jan Verwoert and a dialogue between Cristina Ricupero and Alexis Vaillant. Design Sanghon Kim, Aline Girard et Juanma Gomèz. German, French and English edition. 256 pages, ca. 150 illustrations, Snoeck, Cologne 2011. 39,80 €
-> Ground floor galleries and Ferrère gallery, second floor
-> Disabled access
-> Price: 5 €. 2,50 €, Reduced tariff
-> Partner(s): Groupe Galeries Lafayette
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