What do you see ? The clairvoyant
What do you see ? The clairvoyant
What do you see ? The clairvoyant
What do you see ? The clairvoyant
What do you see ? The clairvoyant

20 1/16 x 13 1/2 inches (photo) 9 1/4 x 13 1/2 inches (text) / 51 x 34 cm (photo) 23,5 x 34 cm (texte)

Introduction On March 18, 1990, six paintings by Rembrandt, Flinck, Manet and Vermeer, five drawings by Degas, one vase, and one Napoleonic eagle were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. The frames of the Rembrandt, Vermeer, and Flinck paintings were left behind. In 1994, after being restored, the empty frames were hung back in place, further emphasizing the painting's absence. I asked the clairvoyant Maud Kristen what she saw in those empty frames. Text Ghosts fill the frame, as if the theft had freed the characters, had allowed them to leave that frozen representation while staying on-site. I feel that they are most present in their absence. The visitors' gazes held them back, but now they can wander around the museum. They have that physical freedom one has in the dark, the pleasure of living one's life without being seen....What I mean is that even if the canvas was burned, the woman who posed for it is not disfigured. Its as if, having been divested of her body, she was then divested of her image. What I see in this opening is alive and joyful.

About Sophie Calle

A controversial figure as well as one of France’s leading conceptual artists, Sophie Calle explores her own psychological and emotional terrain in multimedia works, probing ideas of control, freedom, gender, intimacy, and distance in human relationships. Perhaps her most contentious work, Address Book (1983) was inspired by an address book that Calle found on the street, photographed, and sent back to its owner. She then rang the numbers in the book to assemble a portrait of the owner, turning the results into a multimedia installation. For Take Care of Yourself (2007), which was exhibited in the French pavilion at the 2007 Venice Biennale, Calle invited 107 women from various walks of life to interpret and assess a breakup note the artist received in an email. In a range of media including photographic portraits, textual analysis, and filmed performances, women pore over the emotional content of the email; contributions include a clairvoyant’s response, a scientific study, and a child’s fairytale.

French, b. 1953, Paris, France, based in Switzerland

Group Shows on Artsy

2015
Mark My Words, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York
2015
The Venetians, Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl, New York
2015
Icon(s), Maison Particulière, Brussels