Bordeaux

Armin Boehm, Se Taire, 2008, oil, metal, and thread on board, 21 1/4 x 18 7/8".

Armin Boehm, Se Taire, 2008, oil, metal, and thread on board, 21 1/4 x 18 7/8".

Bordeaux

“Secret Societies”

CAPC musée d'art contemporain
7 rue Ferrère
November 10, 2011–February 26, 2012

Schirn Kunsthalle Frankfurt
Römerberg
July 25, 2013–September 25, 2011

Curated by Cristina Ricupero and Alexis Vaillant

From Yale’s president-spawning Skull and Bones to that mythical “invisible world government” the Illuminati, secret societies exert a powerful grip on the imagination. The Schirn Kunsthalle’s show isn’t an exposé, though. Rather, it proposes contemporary art itself as a seedbed for clandestine coteries, exacting codes of behavior, and diverse methods of evasion and exclusion. Here, within an appositely labyrinthine display designed by Fabian Marti, more than one hundred works by nearly fifty artists—including Kenneth Anger, Joachim Koester, Cerith Wyn Evans, and Lisa Yuskavage—will offer entrée to their hermetic milieus or, perhaps, stonewall viewers unversed in the correct secret handshakes. (Expect, say the organizers, “a certain level of occultation.”) For conspiratorial crib notes, consult the catalogue essays by Ina Blom, Michael Bracewell, Gary Lachman, Marco Pasi, Jan Verwoert, and the curators.