Sophie Calle & Greg Shepard - No Sex Last Night aka Double Blind (1992)

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For over 20 years Sophie Calle’s work has taken the form of photographic installations and chronicles, whose structure and form reflect a narrative approach - both within themselves individually and, taken together, in terms of Calle’s own career. Born in Paris in 1953, Calle’s early work dates from a world trip in the 1970s that lasted seven years. During a stay in California in 1978 she took her first photographs – graves marked Father and Mother – with no professional intent, she simply had come upon something that ‘her father might like’. On her return to Paris she began tailing unknowns in the street as part of a conscious ‘drifting through the city’, recording the results in notebooks containing photographs and texts.

By the 1980s the emphasis had moved to her own feelings resulting in the construction of a set of rules and rituals intended to resolve certain personal difficulties. This was followed in the late ‘80s and ‘90s by a concentration on the concept of sight and more recently issues to do with the disappearance of people and things.

by Sophie Calle and Gregory Shephard
1992, 75:58 min, color, sound

In her premiere video project, French conceptual artist Sophie Calle joins with Gregory Shephard to create a voyeuristic tour de force. Armed with camcorders, Calle and her collaborator/partner Shephard head West in his Cadillac convertible to produce and document a real-life narrative of their journey and their relationship. With America as the backdrop for this unconventional coast-to-coast road movie, Calle and Shephard each narrates and records a personal diary, presenting strikingly different versions of the narrative/relationship. Aiming their dueling camcorders, the protagonists chronicle the elusive landscapes of human relations, wrestling to reconcile self, sexuality, and desire. The viewer is challenged to reconsider the subjective and cultural roles imposed by gender, sexuality, power, and tradition. Throughout, Calle seeks to redefine through personal investigation the terms and parameters of subject/object, public/private, truth, fiction, and role-playing. The quasi-documentary style evokes the films of Chris Marker, to whom Double-Blind is dedicated.

Written, directed and camera by Sophie Calle and Greg Shephard. Editor: Michael Penhallow. Music: Pascal Comelade, Tom Waits, Roy Orbison, Dwight Yokum, Taj Mahal, Jackson Brown, Cowboy Junkies, La Caanastera, Greg and Michael, W.M.Mozart. Production: Bohen Foundation. Post-production: San Francisco Artspace.

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at 11:43 AM