ISH #1

16th May 2009 18.00 – 21.00

Victor Boullet
— Bring into being
The Institute
of Social Hypocrisy

The Institute of Social Hypocrisy is an artist-led space run by Victor Boullet. The Institute will provide a platform for an exchange of views in a variety of art forms, allowing exhibiting artists to take their own role independently of the system. The work on show for this first opening has been produced by Victor Boullet providing a launch-pad for future exhibitions by different invited artists.

The concept of social hypocrisy is an idea that Boullet has worked with over several years and debates the idea of a public mask and an inner reality: a concealed truth and an exposed lie.
This theory will provide the basis for the projects that take place and, over a two year period, a series of artists will be given the freedom to present work that debates theories of falsehood, pretence and deception in their many forms and guises.

The notion of an institute is usually a body in the public domain, represented by officialdom, bureaucracy and power wielding commissioners. This project creates something that is perceived from the outside to be such a structure and yet within removes protocol from the equation in order to allow viewers and artists to engage critically with the content.

The first project to be realised is the inception of the institute itself. It concerns our perception of the truth. If this project is perceived to be an institutional organization, then it exists as such: thus drawing on the Greek definition of the word hypocrisy, defined as impersonation or play-acting.

In order to create an identity that would signify a credible organization, the various elements that represent an institution to the outside world were to be conceived; door plaques, headed paper, business cards, a website and a flag. The designers HeyHo were invited to devise an external interpretation of this idea of an institution.

Once determined, Victor Boullet produced the different components comprising this launch. The headed paper forms the base of two pieces. A large pile of this printed paper stands as a tower representing the work within an institution. Also, manipulated pages, photocopied and printed as photographs, working against the design, create a work with a counter-cultural implication.
Adding an almost governmental tone, a flag, hanging outside the window, announces the existence of the institute to the passer-by.

As part of this initial phase, the first in a series of fanzines has been produced. The Plaster Saint is a collection of images derived from work by Leonardo Da Vinci. The duplicity within this publication stems from the flagrant thievery of another artist’s work providing the vehicle for a new oeuvre.
One image from this series has been selected for display, however this is the one image not credited to Da Vinci himself, but to a Leonardeschi, providing an element of deception.
A new fanzine will be produced twice a year with a different artist featured each time.

The emergence of the institute will take place at the opening event. Where the space, the visual concept, and the invited audience will combine to bring life to this initiative. The space will remain, between institutional events, the artist’s atelier.