Secrets From the Street: No Disclosure

1980, 12:20 min, color, sound

Secrets From the Street examines the intersection of cultures and classes as exemplified by the street life of San Francisco's Mission District. This videotape, produced for an exhibition held jointly at San Francisco's City Hall and its Museum of Modern Art, argues — against the show's theme and title, Public Disclosure: Secrets from the Street — that accounts of cultural life that omit the question of social power are mythical: The real "secret" is the obscured relation of economic and political domination exercised by one's own culture over the observed subculture. Or, as Rosler states in the tape's voiceover, "The secret is that to know the meaning of a culture you must know the limits of meaning of your own."