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  • Writer's picturematilde tomat

a/ sophie calle

“… but I really didn’t know what I was doing”.

[lucubrations in G Major - listening to Bach Cello Suites]

I have been given two books on Sophie Calle to look at: Double Game, and Appointment. And I have watched a couple of videos on YouTube re. her work and just to put her in a historical context I read the brief description on the Guggenheim page online here.

I don’t know if what I read and see is something that I like, or not. I know that it moves something within me. Instinctively and impetuously. What I did recognise from the very beginning is that there is personal involvement of the Self and her person which is deeper than mine, even if I would have been sure of the contrary (!). It feels now as if I am making drawings / flowings / doodlings which represent part of my story (as an observer) and I were to stay: look at the pretty things I make, here they are, pretty things make me pretty. While she says: look at me, I am the “pretty thing” I’m showing: that’s me.

And you know what, there is nothing wrong in my approach to art – or life for that matter, as long as I am happy with that! That doesn’t mean that I have to go out an exhibit myself, expose myself, naked soul an’all. I am not Marina Abramovic, I am not Sophie Calle. I am me, and I am still trying to find my way to express what I have inside.

Still, this is part of the process, part of the growing, this is my transitioning when something old needs dying and something new craves for growth. There is this sense of gasping for air as if making art is my inhaling and exhaling. Transitioning and change do not come without pain and while I have always felt scared of change before, I know now of its validity and its necessity.

The Faked Wedding on p. 62 in Appointments resonates with me and at the same time describes the different approaches. I did not get married in white, and as a proper little Italian lady in my 20s, of course, I wanted the posh white wedding; instead, I dress in a very light powdery and silky expensive dress. Very elegant, a touch aristocratic and very different.

mat wedding

Downtown Udine

Now I would never think about creating a piece of art in recreating a white wedding as a journey for an installation, the reflection of private and public life, of desires and unfulfilled Cinderella dreams, of putting myself fully out there. I would make a piece of art like the one I did yesterday, titled “The Consequence of Love“, where there is a double bed now used only by me, but which stirred a sense of pity in a couple of people who looked at it: owwwww, how sad, poor you

the conseq of love

THIS is the difference!

Bravo! Well done! on one side and Owwww, how sad! on the other.

Of her Appointments, I loved the intertwining of Freud’s life with hers (and also of our lives!) and how we could all be and somehow all are Freud’s patients (or clients?) and how she worked site-responsive, which is what I also do… oh, gosh, that now sounds so undeserved but I am not going to excuse my inner fragility nor my journey nor my artistic and personal vulnerability.

I need now time to think.

Calle, S. (2007). Double Game, London: Violette Editions

Calle, S. (2005). Appointment with Sigmund Freud. London: Thames & Hudson

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