Sophie Calle began following strangers because she didn’t know what to do with herself; she had no friends. “It was a way to force myself to get out of the house without having to decide what I was doing.”
January 1980 in Paris, she followed a man for the day and then lost him in the crowd. She later attended an art exhibition to find him there, a coincidence which led her to believe it was fate. She overheard him talking to a friend about a holiday to Venice and decided to go to track him down.
She began to follow him every day, photographing him, writing down his every move together with her thoughts and feelings in a journal. If he stopped to take a photo, she would stand in the exact same spot and try to capture the image he had taken. Her work is more similar to a detective’s than a lover, as she highlights the vulnerability of the stranger while trying to examine his identity.
This project lead her into another: she requested her mother to hire a private investigator to follow her. She took him on a journey through the streets of Paris to her favourite places. She kept a journal of the things she was up to, to compare with the detectives notes for amusement.
She was intrigued with the idea of switching roles and her privacy being invaded, like the many that she had once followed, and the contrast of the scenarios the detective pieced together from following her, to the actual truth.
“A biker’s power and intimidating image can even the playing field for a little kid who has been hurt. If the man who hurt this little girl calls or drives by, or even if she is just scared, another nightmare, the bikers will ride over and stand guard all night.
If she is afraid to go to school, they will take her and watch until she’s safely inside.
And if she has to testify against her abuser in court, they will go, too, walking with her to the witness stand and taking over the first row of seats.”
During one such testimony, a little boy sat on the stand, testifying against his abusive father, who sat less than 10 feet away.
“Why didn’t you say anything before now?” Asked the prosecutor.
“I was scared.” The little boy replied, honestly.
“Why aren’t you scared now, what changed?” The prosecutor watched the little boy closely as he pointed to the front row of seats in the court room.
“Because my friends are scarier than he is.”
I’ve reblogged abut this before, and it deserves another mention.
don’t you ever dare to say that we are the weaker gender
Harold and a pretty girl flirt with elbows in “Hey There” (1918)
Lists and Letters in Submarine
Really like this movie, for no particular reason at all.
favorite artists: Claude Monet (1840-1926)
“Without the water, the lilies cannot live, as I am without art.”
“I will paint almost blind, as Beethoven composed completely deaf.”