The project I Collect Personal Secrets started when Friðfinnsson was invited to contribute to the magazine Fandangos, conceived by fellow artist Raul Marroquin, and developed at the Jan van Eyck Academie in Maastricht. In the second issue of the journal,he inserted a handwritten advertisement stating:
Fandangos 2, ed. Raul Marroquin, Marjo Schumans, Theo van de Aa, Ger van Dijck, published by
Agora & Jan van Eyck Academy Maastricht (detail). Courtesy In-Out Center, Amsterdam.
The announcement was repeated in the third issue
of Fandangos, this time typed, but due to the underground nature of the magazine, as well as the limited print-run, hardly any secrets were received. More than 30 years later, in July 2009, the same request was published in Point d’Ironie, the magazine run by Hans-Ulrich Obrist and Agnès B. Hundreds of secrets were received in response to the call. Contrary to what the advertisement affirmed, the secrets were never opened or learned, but assembled and kept in a bank vault, and eventually put through a shredder for the production of the final version of the work.
I Collected Personal Secrets (1972–2015), Kunstverein, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 12 September – 7 November 2015,
curated by Krist Gruijthuijsen. Exhibited work: I Collected Personal Secrets, 1972–2015.
For this exhibition, the accumulated paper sheets and notes containing secrets were shredded and held together with book-binding glue to form a flat square, mounted between two iron poles, and visible on both sides. It was on display alongside the advertisements for the project published in Fandangos (1974) and Point d’Ironie (2009).