The Institute of Social Hypocrisy

Victor Boullet

On rue Dupuis 1, Paris, a white flag on the façade of an austere gray building indicates the existence of a bizarre organization: the Institute of Social Hypocrisy (ISH). Its founder, director, and only employee is the Norwegian artist Victor Boullet whose work, as he declares on his website, has always been “rooted in hypocrisy, acceptance and exclusion.” Thanks to small devices such as door plaques, business cards, the aforementioned flag, a physical office space, and a website, the Institute itself appears legitimate and earnest. The truth is that ISH works as a permanent collaborative art piece. In essence, the work is an ongoing action in which Boullet invites artists and curators to conspire in his often cynical activities. The intent of ISH is to play with its own ambivalence—a bureaucratic performance to contrast its artistic nature— in order to “debate theories of falsehood, pretence, and deception in their many forms and guises.” Among its numerous actions, ISH produces a fanzine twice a year promoting the Institute’s activities and giving artists a way to independently distribute their works.

Valerio Del Baglivo


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