Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl is pleased to present The Address Book, a new editioned work by French conceptual artist Sophie Calle, on view in the gallery from October 8 through November 7, 2009. Published by Gemini G.E.L. in a limited edition of 45, this work is the result of a first‐ever collaboration between Calle and the Los Angeles‐based artist workshop Gemini. Comprised of several components, fundamentally it is a revisitation of her engaging collection of stories, photographs and interviews published daily in August 1983 in the French newspaper Libération.
Formally complex, The Address Book consists of 28 pages of illustrated text, 3‐hole punched so that, in addition to being framed and on the wall, they can be alternatively presented in a black bookcloth‐covered ring‐binder. Also included are 3 prints to be presented only on the wall; each focuses on particular aspects of the overall project – a rendition of the address book’s cover, a summary index of the alphabetical content of the names in the address book, and selected phrases from the text within The Address Book project. And finally, a foldout facsimile of collaged pages from the 1983 Libération is also included.
Conceptually, The Address Book is classic Sophie Calle. According to Calle, she finds an address book in Paris, on (where else?) the Rue des Martyrs, and before returning it to its owner, she contacts the people whose names are in the book and asks them to reveal what they know about the book’s owner, Pierre D. Acting as part private investigator, part forensic scientist, Calle explores Pierre D’s life and, in typical Calle fashion, involves these unwitting collaborators in the invasion of Pierre D’s privacy. The 28 notebook pages are Calle’s writings about her interviews with these individuals, some of whom barely know Pierre D, and she accompanies each text with a
photograph evocative of the place or essential sentiment of the meeting between Calle and the person she’s interviewing. As the story unfolds, as Calle delves more deeply, the picture of Pierre D’s life becomes more complete, and Calle realizes she has explored as much as she should. She concludes on the last page of The Address Book, “Pierre, I have ‘followed’ you, ‘searched for’ you, for over a month. If I ran into you on the street, I think I could recognize you, but I would not talk to you.” Calle’s sense of forbidden attraction to her mysterious subject is palpable.
Sophie Calle was born in 1953 in Paris, France. Long respected abroad and the recipient of numerous awards and retrospective exhibitions, her acclaimed presentation at the 2007 Venice Biennale of Prenez soin de vous (Take Care of Yourself) catapulted Calle into international recognition.Concurrent with the exhibition, The Address Book by Sophie Calle, will be a presentation of four lithographs by Robert Gober, on view at Gemini G.E.L. at Joni Moisant Weyl from October 8 through November 7, 2009.
Gober is considered to be one of America’s most prominent artists of the younger generation that emerged in the early 1980’s. Known for his sculpture and installation art, his drawings and prints play an integral role in his artistic oeuvre. Gober’s art is largely autobiographical; his imagery gives the viewer a glimpse of his personal life, focusing on his family, childhood memories and sexuality. His work is a unique blend of surrealism, minimalism
and conceptualism, and gives familiar and ordinary objects a surrealistic twist, allowing them to coexist in the conscious and subconscious.
Images of drains, body parts and a prison window are the visual motifs evident in two of Gober’s lithographs dating from the year 2000. In a third poignant print also from 2000, Gober examines the meaning of betrayal. Drawing directly onto limestone, and working
in reverse as required by the lithographic medium, Gober exactingly recreates a dictionary page defining the word “betray”, which ironically is followed by the word “betrothed”. The fourth and largest print, from 2002, is a tour‐de‐force of lithography
and possibly the largest and most complex work he has realized. A visual encyclopedia of his well‐known motifs, including trees and autumn leaves, a prison window, a discarded mayonnaise packet, the open cellar doors first seen in his 2001 Venice Biennale installation and the tips of a pair of shoes, suggesting an observer (perhaps the artist?), the print is packed with many images and multiple
Internationally well respected and collected, Gober’s exceptional solo exhibitions seen in the United States include a 1992 installation at the Dia Center for the Arts in New York City, his 1997 site‐specific installation at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art, and a 1999 survey of his sculpture and drawing which traveled to the Walker Art Center (Minneapolis), Hirshhorn Museum (Washington DC) and San Francisco MoMA. In 2001, he
represented the United States at the 49th Venice Biennale.
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