In the early 1970s, the Icelandic artist Hreinn Friðfinnsson (b. 1943, Iceland) placed an advert in a Dutch art magazine asking people to send him their secrets. By posing as a collector of secrets, the artist would, he thought, allay suspicions that he had any ulterior motive in using or revealing privileged information that might come his way. It is like something from a novel by José Saramago, or an urban myth or rumour. The secret, Fridfinnsson may be telling us, is that there isn’t one. His art, on the other hand, is an invitation to imagine that there might be.
After 40 years, Friðfinnsson will conclude his “secrets project” for the exhibition at Kunstverein. The accumulated secrets will be used as base for a monochrome painting, which will be on display alongside the advertisements the project had published throughout the years.