Sophie Calle "Les aveugles. Les moutons…

Sophie Calle "Les aveugles. Les moutons, c'est beau"

de Appel, Prinseneiland 7, Amsterdam
‘‘I've met people who are born blind. Who have never been able to see. I've asked them what for them is the image of beauty.’ For a number of years, the Parisian artist and writer Sophie Calle has been absorbed in the private lives of other people By dressing herself up as a chambermaid, she tracked the behaviour of hotel guests whom she described and whose possessions she photographed in minute detail. In Suite Vénitienne, she took up the chase: strollers were followed in the streets and photographed In 1983, Jean Baudrillard wrote about this work: 'Sophie Calle was closer to the other than his own shadow'. In 1985, Calle made a study of people who are born blind and have never been able to see. She asked them what for them is the image of beauty. She recorded both the statements and the faces of the blind people. Then she made photos which represented as faithfully as possible what had been told to her: ‘In Versailles, I love the succession of gardens, ponds and ornamental lakes. It's splendid' , 'The sea, if imagine it to be beautiful, more beautiful than the way it's been described to me I think I'd love blue because of it', 'I have a mother who never let me touch things. She would say: ‘Don 't touch because everyone will see that you're blind.’ The first thing that I was really able to touch was a man. His body was built from roughly-hewn forms'. In this work too, the artist, and thus the viewer, become voyeurs but now of images which are not being seen in the same way as the person who imagines them. In 1987, Sophie Calle will realize a project in Amsterdam at the invitation of De Appel. This presentation was intended as the first introduction to her work in the Netherlands.’ (Saskia Bos, ‘An artist as voyeur. Sophie Calle’, De Appel, 7 (1987) 1, p. 12.)