New York

Sophie Calle

Luhring Augustine, Pat Hearn Gallery

There is a lot of talk these days about how far art can go before it goes “too” far and passes beyond the limits of decorum. When artistic activities are exclusively confined to the production of imagery or objects, moral debate usually centers on the power of representation to effect the behavior of viewers. It’s a different matter when an artist’s activities involve the actual exploitation of others. Who counts more, the unwilling victim or the artist in quest of expression? The problem is pertinent to the work of Sophie Calle, who surreptitiously invades the private lives of strangers and assiduously documents her voyeuristic misdemeanors. The curious effect of her art, however, is that despite its juicy basis in unacceptable social behavior, it never goes quite far enough to beg the question.

Spectatorship is not a neutral issue for Calle, rather it serves as the nexus of her intense

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