September 10 – October 15, 2022
SOPHIE CALLE: The Address Book
Krakow Witkin Gallery
10 Newbury Street, Boston, Massachusetts 02116, USA
Originally published as a serial in the newspaper, “Libération,” over the course of one month, Calle’s incisive written accounts with friends, family, and colleagues, juxtaposed with photographs, yield vivid subjective impressions of the address book’s owner, Pierre D., while also suggesting ever more complicated stories as information is parsed and withheld by the people she encounters. Collaged through a multitude of details–from the banal to the luminous, this fragile and strangely intimate portrait of Pierre D. is a prism through which to see the desire for, and the elusiveness of, knowledge.
Upon learning of this work and its publication in the newspaper, Pierre D. expressed his anger, and Calle agreed not to republish the work until after his death, which he accepted, and thus, only in 2009 did Calle create the work that is currently on exhibition.
The project presented consists of images of each episode as it was laid out in the newspaper, but now absent of all surrounding context. The stories are isolated except by three additional objects. Exhibited to one side of the narratives is a sculptural, five-color lithograph with book cloth that references the physical object of the address book. On the other side are a blind-embossed (the numbers are visible but un-inked) list of all the interviewee’s addresses and a crisply etched, textual portrait summarizing the collective portrait of Pierre D. as described by the interviewees/entries in the address book. The exhibited project is a poetic collection both visually and textually, documenting a process of discovery that drifts between anonymity, transparency, presence, and dislocation.