Monday, January 26, 2009
I attended a lecture by French conceptual artist Sophie Calle. She and her work (you can’t separate the two) are amazing. She became famous for spying on strangers, but her photos and text are much richer and funnier than just that. She illuminates her life with terribly intimacy, yet at a distance.
Calle calls herself an intuitive artist, and packages her work into one long narrative. She plays with her fears and takes lots of risks, as do many artists. She looks for “natural endings” to each piece, such as ending a relationship, or trip, or life (for example, the exact moment of her mother’s death). She’s very feminine (wore boots and a chic dress to speak), and her themes include beds, sleeping, love and sex. She presents herself as vulnerable. Whether that’s the truth or not is of no consequence.
All this hits home for me very hard, as I’m being accused of using my life in my artworks in a way that is endangering my loved ones. I may have to take down parts of this blog. As a semi public figure, I find it hard to accept a blog is more dangerous than lecturing in front of hundreds of students at four different institutions, where people know my name, see me in person several times a week, can follow me to my car, have my email, etc.