Sophie Calle

Castelli Gallery | Uptown

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,

to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.