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Issue No. 18 - Humanity

Sophie Calle at Fraenkel Gallery

Image above: © Sophie Calle, Cash Machine, 1991/2003 | courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

 

Fraenkel Gallery presented an exhibition of work by Sophie Calle, from October 29 – December 24, 2015. Calle uses photography, text, and video to pursue her sociological and autobiographical investigations. Her exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery focuses on four bodies of work in which the artist delves into the nature of love, violence, secrets, and death.

Find a couple. Have each of them tell me a secret. Install two safes in their home. Lock each secret up in its own safe. Keep the codes to myself. The lovers will have to live with the other’s secret close at hand but out of reach.

02-12_Calle_Cash Machine_1991-2003Image above: © Sophie Calle, Cash Machine, 1991/2003 | courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

 

Among the works on view will be Secrets—a pair of working safes for storing a couple’s secrets, accompanied by a plaque engraved with the above text and the artist’s contract stipulating how these mysteries will remain secured. Writing is often integral to Calle’s work, as in her 2014 triptych Suicide (also on view), in which photographs of dark ripples on the surface of black water are accompanied by text sandblasted on glass: “They say the police can distinguish between people who drown themselves for love and those who drown themselves for money…”

Featured in this exhibition will be two series incorporating portraits from ‘ready-made’ sources and addressing themes of privacy and violence. Calle’s Cash Machine photographs are made from ATM video surveillance footage, and each work is exhibited as a sequence of two to eleven images. Collateral Damage, Targets is a series comprised of images of petty criminals’ mugshots, which were used for police target practice.

0145_Calle_Suicide_2014Image above: © Sophie Calle, Suicide, 2014 | courtesy of Fraenkel Gallery

 

Sophie Calle represented France in the 2007 Venice Biennale, and three years later she received the prestigious Hasselblad Award. A retrospective of Calle’s work premiered at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris in 2003 and toured to museums in Berlin and Dublin. She has had solo exhibitions around the world, including at the Whitechapel Gallery, London; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston; the De Pont Museum in the Netherlands; and Hara Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo, Japan. Calle’s work was the subject of a previous solo exhibition at Fraenkel Gallery in 1994, and her work has been included in a number of group exhibitions at the gallery, including The Unphotographable in 2013.

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