On the 16th April 1981 Sophie Calle was being followed by a private detective. Her mother had arranged this at the request of her daughter, although the detective was unaware of this arrangement. Calle proceeded to lead the detective around parts of Paris that were personally significant to her. In doing this she is reversing the position of the spectator. The photographic images and detailed chronicles of her daily life in the city were evidence of her existence.
The detective from Calle’s La Filature instillation, possibly gave Calle the thrill of importance, perhaps her actions had a greater significance and value in that they were being documented with empirical evidence by a stranger. What is further intriguing is that Calle arranged a friend to photograph the detective while observing Calle’s movements.
This juxtaposition of Calle’s notes of events that were rather lighthearted and the detective’s notes that were humorless along with her friends photographic catalogue of events was intriguing. Calle plays with hermeneutic codes that drive the narrative, we are intrigued to find out the outcome of this game she is playing and the three narratives feed our desire to view each division of the plot.
It could be said that Calle’s work is based purely on scopophilia, at first we assume she is the voyeur that seeks to observe her subjects under surreptitious surveillance and decipher their lives purely by conjecture. However, possibly she is the one that wants to be scrutinized and un-picked by society due to her choice of subject. This use of the personal intimacy in her narratives can make the spectator a collaborator in exposing her violations of privacy.
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