new-york

Sophie Calle

Castelli Gallery

Sophie Calle’s exhibition is profoundly skeptical. With insidious understatement, which amounts to a kind of brutalization, works of art, artists, and viewers are shown up or, rather, deflated until they become absurd, even meaningless. It is as if neither artist nor spectator can “really” see works of art, as if they’re for the blind, for indeed there is nothing to see. Calle is a nihilist of the highest intellectual order: a nihilist who does not even believe in what she is engaged in—making art. She shows that the question of what constitutes artmaking is a problem beyond solving—a false problem because there is no such thing as art, only opinions that crystallize around a void. It is all pure mystification—a magic trick, maybe a paranoid conspiracy we perpetrate on ourselves.

She gives us two installations which are best described in Calle’s own words. In Blind Color, 1993, Calle writes,

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