Author: Dorothee Messmer

Publication Date: 2010

Publisher: Kunstmuseum Thurgau, Switzerland

ISBN: 978-3-869841-105-2

Hardback book with 125 pages. Published to accompany the exhibition at Kunstmuseum Thurgau of the same name. 

Who has never indulged in secret bedtime reading, hidden a diary, a love letter or some object family or friends must never ever know about, played hide-and-seek, been to secret places, concealed private fantasies, curbed the desire to uncover what is hidden behind closed doors, or developed an unexpected curiosity when secrets have become public? The exhibition Schritte ins Verborgene, Kunst und das Geheimnisvolle investigates a subject that is as old as it is topical and carries great importance when it comes to understanding interpersonal communication: secrets and their various manifestations in the guise of suspicion distrust, curiosity, partial knowledge, the desire of disclosure, research, discretion or the need to keep a secret. 

With the exception of two important 20th century pioneers, Schritte ins Verborgene presents contemporary artists who use secrets as an artistic strategy on a regular basis, indeed made it a significant, even the most important factor of their work. They do so in numerous different ways. Some analyse the characteristics of secrets, disclose other people's secrets or bring to light the secret scheming of political organisations. Other's create fictitious parallel worlds, turning themselves or their art into a secret, while others still act as intermediaries between reality and secret worlds. Some use a pseudonym, operate outside the law or shroud their works in mystery to increase their significance. 


"Art is a step from what is obvious and well known to what is arcane and concealed." Kahlil Gibran