Store Your Secrets in a Grave as Part of This 25-Year-Long Art Project
For the next 25 years, you can take your secrets to the grave—as long as you pay a visit to Brooklyn’s Green-Wood Cemetery. The arts organization Creative Time has commissioned famed French conceptual artist Sophie Calle to take up a sort of artist’s residency at the cemetery, Artforum reports.
Over the course of the 25-year project, Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery, visitors will write down their secrets and drop them into an obelisk that's connected to a grave that has been given over to Calle in perpetuity. Calle will periodically return to exhume the piles of paper and treat them to a ritual bonfire. “Every few years, when the grave fills up with secrets, we’ll organize a ceremony to burn those remnants that managed to survive the elements and the passage of time,” Calle wrote in her instructions for the project.
The project was inspired by a breakup in which Calle’s lover, whom she calls H., told her a secret just before ending their relationship. Calle’s previous work has explored similar themes of privacy, vulnerability, and voyeurism. She’s known for following and photographing strangers—she has been called “the art world’s most famous stalker"—and exploring the fallout of romantic breakups through art is nothing new to her. In 2007, Calle invited 100 women to interpret a breakup email a boyfriend sent her.
But rest assured that the secrets you deposit into the Green-Wood grave will be kept safe. “H.’s secret remained untold, and so will the ones you’ll share with me,” Calle promised.