Sophie Calle and the Art of Leaving a Trace

Lili Owen Rowlands at The New Yorker:

Although there is something oblique about these conceits, Calle is associated, above all, with acts of bald exposure. Her celebrity, which now extends far beyond France, has long been attached to charges of voyeurisme and exhibitionnisme (which have sometimes resulted in legal trouble). Yet, as “The Hotel” vividly shows, what Calle is really looking for is more enigmatic and compelling than other people’s dirty laundry. Rather than erase the residue of human presence, as a “real” maid is expected to, Calle does the opposite, preserving every stain and scrap as a sign or symbol. But of what? This is the question at the heart of Calle’s work, and the answer may hardly be the point; what interests her most is the seduction and projection involved in knowing another person—how fantasy intervenes in every attempt to see and be seen.

more here.