Between 1987 and 1993 Johannes Cladders worked on The Secret Corner for the Académie de Muséologie Évocatoire in Warelwast, Normandy. For this project he was in close contact with Jacques Caumont and Jennifer Gough-Cooper, the Académie’s founders and guiding spirits. A few years after the dissolution of the Académie, the urgent question of what to do with its archive and collections had to be solved and it was Françoise Le Penven who encouraged Jacques Caumont to entrust the custody of The Secret Corner to Akademie Schloss Solitude, as its first jury-chairman had been Johannes Cladders.
But how might this secret project be kept alive in another place, in Solitude, without betraying its original purpose? »Making something public on the web?« asked Jacques Caumont during his first visit at Solitude, not fully aware of the scope of his question. The Secret Corner conceived by Antoni Rayzhekov and Jean-Baptiste Joly is the concrete answer to Jacques Caumont’s guess: A site with multiple entries and drawers that contain interviews – filmed by Hagen Betzwieser –, images of original documents, texts and objects, an online Secret Corner, that is – like the original –, only open to visitors when the winds are favorable. The (physical) Secret Corner is now hidden in a room of the Akademie under the custody of Anita Carey-Yard, archivist at Solitude.
The Secret Corner is an art project created by Johannes Cladders (1924–2009) for the Académie de Muséologie Evocatoire and has been owned by Akademie Schloss Solitude since 2016.
The Secret Corner online is a project by Antoni Rayzhekov and Jean-Baptiste Joly with the participation of Hagen Betzwieser (camera interviews) according to an idea by Jacques Caumont.