JAN VERWOERT ‘SECRET SOCIETIES’ 02092011

September 3, 2011


 

The text discusses the presence of secrets in our time, which ironically is characterized by a continuous stream of information. The presence of a secret is a motivation for further investigation and development. Curiosity is one of the fundamental characteristics of the human nature, which after all has led to a constantly expanding level of sophistication. According to Jan Verwoert, the direct claim of sex, power or money is a mistaken approach as it immediately reinsures the fact that one lacks of these pleasures and therefore will vainly attempt to gain them.

A secret can be kept hidden within a group of people, for example in a village community, as they are aware of the fact that they are not supposed to be in hold of the information they are, and therefore keep it safe. On the other hand, historically valuable information has been exchanged to gain reward. The mafia is one case were secrets exist between the rival families and their exposure has major consequences. Information is kept secret in order to survive. However, something leading to your death may also be the key to your promotion. Therefore, scenarios of betrayal are very common, and the relationship structure is constantly fluctuating.

Secret information is exposed over time through the medium of music or texts in favour of eternal fame, never to be forgotten, or at least to endure a longer period from a human lifetime. In addition, the relevance of the existence of a secret’s authorship is crucial. Its power relies on it, as the person to whom the information is revealed to, has to place the experience within a context in order to relate to it or have some short of significance. Similar to a piece of art, unless a secret reveals some king of authorship it immediately becomes devalued.

 

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Jan Verwoert, How do we share? The secret? How will we experience? The mysteries? in Cristina Ricupero, Alexis Vaillant, Max Hollein, eds. Secret Societies, Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt, CAPC Museé d’art contemporain de Bordeaux, Snoek.

 

 


ANDREAS SIVITOS

 

 

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