The Institute of Social Hypocrisy
16th May 2009 to 16th May 2011
by Victor Boullet
The Institute of Social Hypocrisy is the Paris based artificial organisation that fronts an ongoing collaborative work by the artist Victor Boullet. The Institute of Social Hypocrisy is conducted in the form of a protracted performance piece and its very existence is brought about by inviting participation with others. Each player and event contributes vital information and connections that allow the Institute to progress.
The ISH provides a perception of authority and thus acts as a Trojan horse; it permits the contributors to covertly infiltrate organisations and to gain access people that they might not normally be able to approach.
The accepted paraphernalia that symbolize an official structure also represent The Institute. Door plaques, headed paper, business cards and a flag combine to present an authoritative façade that conceals the true internal activity.
The fundamental theme recurring in Victor Boullet’s work is that of alienation and acceptance. He highlights the aspects of intrinsically hypocritical social behaviour used to ingratiate oneself with others. This sense of exclusion, and the subsequent desire to put up an illusion of conformity, functions as the point of departure for the activities taking place within the The Institute of Social Hypocrisy
The Institute combines these two connected aspects, of simulated bureaucracy and hypocrisy to form a conceptual umbrella under which a programme of related events can take place. It provides a structure for artists to take control of the programming and direction of their work and to be responsible for the events, installations and publications that occur.