In March, we shared a story about French conceptual artist Sophie Calle and her art piece for the Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, NY. This past weekend was the exhibit’s grand opening to its 25 year run.
The piece, entitled “Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery,” is a large, marble obelisk with a mail slot at the base. Visitors are encouraged the write down a secret, seal it in an envelope and place the secret in the monument. Periodically, once the obelisk is completely filled, it will be opened and the secrets will be burned at an event at the cemetery. The piece was presented by New York-based art non-profit, Creative Time.
This past weekend, Calle was on-hand to write down notes for visitors personally for the grand opening of the exhibit. Calle set up two chairs in an older section of the cemetery called Bay Grove Hill and asked guests who signed up for the inaugural event to sit across from her and share their secret with her. She would then transcribe it to a her notepad, give it to the participant and they would seal it in an envelope and deposit the envelope in the obelisk.
The Saturday opening at the cemetery hosted a total of 4,236 people for the event. The obelisk will remain at the cemetery for the next 25 years and Green-Wood Cemetery will maintain the work during this time.