Rosemary Williams


"Secret" is a collaborative work with artist Yumi Janairo Roth, in which we collected over 100 audiotaped secrets from strangers throughout New York City. To "display" this collection we built a gallery bench with embedded speakers, meant to be placed within an exhibition. When visitors sit down on the bench to rest, they unwittingly set off audio of the whispered secrets, which range from innocent to raunchy, and shocking to funny. The piece inspires surprise, embarrassment and intrigue in viewers, who have unintentionally eavesdropped on others' most intimate thoughts. Bringing the private into the public realm, the piece makes us look at the people around us and wonder, could they really be thinking these things?

Secret (3.9MB). Excerpt from audio track, 2:51 running time.

60" x 24" x 18", 2003