Keeping and Sharing Secrets – How to Formulate an Ethics of Attitude

Jan Verwoert

Montreal Museum of Fine Arts
Maxwell-Cummings Auditorium
1379 Sherbrooke Street West

March 15, 2011 - 7:00 pm


DHC/ART hosts a talk with critic and writer Jan Verwoert in conjunction with DHC/ART’s exhibition by minimalist/conceptualist artist Ceal Floyer.

This is not a game. This is not just about figuring out a winning formula before someone else does. There’s nothing more stupid than playing smart. But playing plain stupid won’t do either. So you got a secret? Guess what, that doesn’t make you special. For I have a secret, too. We all do. Secrets are not such a new thing. Secrets started long ago. The question is how to share them, how and with whom, with whom how? What if you don’t know me but still feel that I might be someone to share secrets with (as I may strike you as someone who could keep them)? How do you talk to me? How do you address, summon, evoke, invoke, convoke, provoke people like me, like you, like us? How do you want to talk to my, your, our soul? You make art. That’s what you do. Because it’s still one of the best ways to keep and share secrets and address the soul. So artistically, philosophically, emotionally, socially, existentially, politically, ethically, sexually, spiritually the crucial question is: how to develop the mode, manner and style in which you desire to share secrets and address the soul? It’s a question of artistic form, rhetoric and attitude and a question of how we want to be with and towards each other.

Free admission

Please note that the talk will be in English. Limited number of seats: first come, first seated.


Jan Verwoert teaches art at the Piet Zwart Institute in Rotterdam, works as a contributing editor to frieze magazine and writes for a number of publications. His book Bas Jan Ader – In Search of the Miraculous was published by Afterall/MIT Press in 2006. The collection of his essays Tell Me What You Want What You Really Really Want has just been published by Sternberg Press / Piet Zwart Institute. He is based in Berlin.


Carl Mydans
Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas with Basket, 2005
Estate of Carl Mydans