SECRETS FOR SALE
Secrets for Sale
ELODIE PONG (SWITZERLAND 2003, VIDEO, 64:00 MIN)
Wandering into a gallery, people suddenly find themselves the subject of an experiment. They must sign release forms and decide whether to go into the next room. They must decide whether to mask and disguise themselves. Then, they are asked to tell a personal secret directly to a video camera. Something no one else knows. After all this, they meet back up with the artist, Elodie Pong. She offers them money for their secret. The nature of the secret and the degree to which the visitors decided to disguise themselves determines the price of the secret. After some bargaining they agree on a price. Secrets for Sale is disorienting, sometimes touching, and often funny – as when someone who just admitted having a venereal disease tries to pick up Elodie Pong. With this video that was originally conceived as an installation, Pong puts her finger on the contemporary social phenomenon that compels people in live television shows to disclose highly private matters to an anonymous public. Secrets for Sale shows us a revealing x-ray of an era in which everything is for sale.