Secretum

(I am very much in love w/u)

The artwork, Secretum (I am very much in love w/u), comprises of double-jars in various dimensions, with the interior jars sometimes obscured with paper-tape. 


Each exterior jar is well sealed and each label anchored with a security-band to indicate if the seal has been violated. 


Each glass jar is a discrete individual exhibit of an incident captured in a jar and expressed through the idiosyncrasies of institutional labeling .

The Latin term Secretum is used to express the idea of a contained or jarred secret. Each label utilizes various languages simultaneously including english, french chinese, arabic and german. 


All labels indicate sufficient information that allow the viewer to comprehend that something grave has occurred. 
Each viewer is left to decipher the strategic-opacity of transparency provided through the obfuscatory methods of institutions, be they scientific, academic, media, government, religious or police.


The sub-title of this artwork is taken from an SMS text-message sent by a Cameroon citizen who found himself imprisoned for texting the following: "i am very much in love w/u" to someone of the same gender. He was imprisoned, brutalized and then later starved to death by his biological family (parents).

This project was created on the occasion of the 2014 Dakar Biennale (Biennale de l'art africain contemporain de dakar) by the invitation of Paris based curator Elise Atangana and her colleagues Abdelkader Damani and Smooth Ugochukwu Nzewi.

Footnotes
  1. 17Dec2012 The Guardian UK
  2. Roger Mbede dies
  3. The project recognizes Marcel Duchamps prescient example of capturing the invisible in his "50cc air de paris"
  4. Curatorial team bios Dak'Art (9 May - 8 June 2014Dakar, Senegal)
  5. Curatorial statement regarding the CABINET OF CURIOSITIES section of the exhibition in which "Secretum (I am very much in love w/u)" would (anonymously) be displayed: "an artistic experiment and a laboratory of collective production laboratory where the artists are asked to create a collective work in a single space from a common story,and losing their individual identities. It is also a political act to commemorate the moment when Africa was taken out of Art History because of the anonymity of African art and artists."
  6. Invited artist to the 2014 Dak'Art (Venue: Village of the Biennale, Route de Rufisque): John Akomfrah, Rashid Ali & Andrew Cross, Sidney Amaral, Olu Amoda, Joël Andrianomearisoa, Kader Attia, Fayçal Baghriche, Radcliffe Bailey, Mahi Binebine, Meriem Bouderbala, Halida Boughriet, Bourouissa & Selmani, Candice Breitz, Nidhal Chamekh, Gopal Dagnogo, Jonathas de Andrade, Jean-Ulrick Désert, Sidy Diallo, Amary Sobel Diop, Victor Ekpuk, Andrew Esiebo, Ali Essafi, Ismaïla Fatty, Olivier Fokoua, Justine Gaga, Houda Ghorbel, Milumbe Haimbe, Sam Hopkins, Tam Joseph, Samson Kambalu, Kira Kemper, Edmon Khalil, Kiluanji Kia Henda, Marcia Kure, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou, Simone Leigh & Chitra Ganesh, Nomusa Makhubu, Ato Malinda, Julie Mehretu, Amina Menia, Naziha Mestaoui, Baudouin Mouanda, Jean Katambayi Mukendi, Wangechi Mutu, Assane Ndoye, Mimi Cherono Ng’ok, Chike Obeagu, Emeka Ogboh, Driss Ouadahi, Bouchra Ouizguen, Io Palmer, Éric Pina, Slimane Raïs, Jimmy Robert, Faten Rouissi, Massinissa Selmani, Wael Shawky, Mohamed Shoukry, Arlene Wandera, Ezra Wube, Kamel Yahiaoui.