Modus Operandi 2021: Public secrecy.

This Modus Operandi and the editorial project that accompanies it monopolizes the already well-known term of Taussig (public secrecy)


August 24, 2021 - 5:00 pm


August 27, 2021 - 7:00 am


virtual event   View map


Arte , Charla , Conversatorio , Encuentro

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This Modus Operandi and the editorial project that accompanies it monopolizes the already well-known term of Taussig (public secrecy to condense, without wanting to exhaust or inventory all public secrecy in a political context such as the Colombian one. According to Freud, following Taussig, the secret is “the sinister, everything that should have remained secret but that has been brought to light – that which is secretly familiar and that nevertheless, having been repressed once, then returns from inexorably”. The public secret is that which is generally known, but cannot be articulated. The public secret is what everyone knows that they cannot know, what everyone knows that they should not know. The task and life force of the public secret keeps you on that edge, where the secret has not been destroyed by its open exposure, but paradoxically, everyone knows it. The public secret is partial in its disclosure. The public secret is at the same time an empty signifier and a sacred center. The public secret is usually taken for granted. A public secret lives in the abyss of a contradiction. The empty signifiers of the collective identity are constructed as public secrets. The public secret knows that this knowledge cannot be known. Public secrecy is also the law of silence. The public secret is what everyone knows and at the same time nobody knows. Taussig says that “power, order, survival, secrecy and paranoia are more exaggerated in Colombia than in any other part of the world.” The public secret is like when everyone pretends that something is not true, or that something does not exist. All quiet, nothing happens here. But it does. The public secret names without naming, says without saying. The public secret is the embodiment of the Colombian actitude; it is the tension of revealing and hiding. The public secret does not state the obvious, but outlines it, from the sides. It is what everyone knows and what others know that others know. Therein lies its power. The public secret is the footnote, it is the fine print. The public secret reveals and conceals at the same time. The public secret is the explosion that never comes and that remains as a tense possibility. Following Taussig: “The secret is secreted in the obliquity of language and its riddles, both in the implicit and in the accomplice, especially when it takes the form of a public secret.” The public secret controls to take advantage of the great powers of contradiction, so the ideology and its machinery can work. The public secret magnifies reality, oscillates between showing the face, and what is not given or unmasked.

This publication and this cycle of virtual conferences called modus operandi reverberate from the idea of ​​public secrecy as an excuse to condense a series of interventions that extend the conversation beyond the book.


Secrecy session 1:

Tuesday, August 24, 5:00 p.m.

Michael Taussig 

Fernando Castro Flórez 

Bruno Mazzoldi

Secrecy session 2:

Wednesday, August 25, 5:00 p.m.

Ana María Montenegro

Luisa Ungar

Néstor Gutiérrez

Vladimir Giraldo

Secrecy session 3:

Thursday, August 26, 5:00 p.m.

Juan Obando

Manuel Ángel Macía & Juan Pablo Mejía

Mónica Páez & Francisco Toquica

Secrecy session 4:

Friday, August 27, 5:00 p.m.

Viernes 27 de agosto, 5:00 p.m.


Fiebre Ediciones 


Michael Taussig,  Desfiguraciones: El secreto público y la labor de lo negativo. (Fineo, 2010).