Demystification Committee

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A performance exploring tactics of corporate secrecy observed in tax havens, held on February 4, 2018 at transmediale festival in Berlin.

The performance plays with the indeterminacy surrounding companies registered in tax havens, often existing solely in the form of documents scattered across a number of archives and, as such, accessible by specific people, in specific locations and at specific times.

During the performance, which could be attended in person or followed via a live stream, the directors of two companies part of an Offshore Investigation Vehicle set-up by the artist, agree to distribute money held by the first company to the shareholders of the second company. Crucially, the first company is registered offshore, whilst the second operates onshore.

The money to be distributed amounts to taxes saved as part of a tax evasion scheme voted for by the shareholders of the second company, which controls the Offshore Investigation Vehicle.

A narrator describes the meeting unfolding on-stage for viewers both online and in the room: taken at face value, the directors of two independent companies are agreeing on a loan. However, an alternative narration of the same events is displayed to those in the room, contradicting the course of action by offering insights on the existing relationships between the two companies.

Both versions of events are true, as the accuracy of each narration is only assessable from the perspective which any viewer is afforded.

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