Oct 10, 2008

Friday critique

While I am busy finishing school projects and artsy projects, I will do a little critique.
A couple of weeks ago, I went to see and exhibition by a well known French artist. Sophie Calle was born 1953. Her medium of choice is mostly photography; she also uses film and installation art.

I am not going to present her full biography, but I will talk about the exhibition “Prenez soin de vous”* named after the last line of the e-mail.

Prenez soin de vous” is an exhibition that explores reactions, emotions and words. Sophie Calle asked 107 women to read and reinterpret the breakup e-mail she got from her ex-lover.
I arrived at the gallery, which is located in Montreal’s old port. The gallery had the great idea of dividing the photographic and the video parts. In one building, on four floors you could see written answers of a number of women, as well as pictures of them or of their writing. They reinterpreted them form a professional point of view, analyzing the content of the letter and giving an explanation, whether they were journalists, 8 years olds, police officers, psychiatrists, teenagers, novelists or kindergarten teachers.

The second part was filmed. A dancer, a couple of singers, clowns, translators, actresses and many more women were filmed as they were reading the e-mail or interpreting it.

I loved the exhibition; it had a very calm atmosphere, filled with a strange kind of humour. It was also interesting to see how a woman could transform a common situation into a work of art. There was no anger, it was not a public revenge, and I hope that the lover himself did not feel humiliated. The only thing that truly did bother me was often the length. The letter itself was lengthy, but some interpretations were so interesting that the time flew by. Others like translations were not as attention grabbing as others.
The voyeuristic idea with which plays Calle is very intriguing for me. After reading a little about her art, I wish to see some other exhibition where this idea is more strongly explored.

I would recommend whoever can, to visit that exhibition. You can go alone, since it is time consuming and also, personal. You will not feel lonely.


______

* - Take Care of Yourself

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