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The Odd Woman and the City

Sophie Calle

 

“Calle is a character in her own story, a false witness, an unreliable narrator. Feigning a hysterical kind of love coded female, with an analytical bent. With a sly humour, power relations are flipped and flipped again. Who is in control, who is the butt of the work? In the case of The Address Book, the victim, in response to having his friends’ opinion of his private life splashed across the pages of Libération, attempted to get his revenge on Calle by having the newspaper publish nude photos of her. Of that work, she said: ‘The sense of excitement was much stronger than the guilt’.

In Double Game, Calle allows novelist Paul Auster to fictionalize her life in a novel, before republishing his account with her own red corrections scrawled on top. Taking it one step further, she then requests that the author give her tasks to do, as though she is a character in one of his novels, and the interaction culminates in a project entitled Gotham Handbook.

Other works play out this repeated doubling-back, such as The Detective, where she asked her mother to hire a private detective to follow her, while she had someone follow the detective, engaging in a game of triangulation and elusiveness, the trick of being the woman who evades, always disappearing round a corner. An object that first receives the world before finding pattern in the day, letting things circle back around, playing out the real work of looking. This mode requires a certain shiftlessness, one not traditionally accorded to women, who rarely know what it feels like to be anonymous, to pass through space unnoticed.”

Read Madeileine Stack’s full piece here.

Photography by Sophie Calle.

Ailsa Ogden Feminism

Nikki van der Gaag on Feminism & Men

In our first issue, the feminist campaigner Nikki van der Gaag argues that men, boys especially, must be inducted into feminism if the movements success is to be ensured because

boys who witness their fathers using violence against their mothers are more likely to use violence against their partners when they grow up. At the other end of the spectrum, boys who see their fathers sharing the housework, looking after the children and being respectful towards women are likely to replicate this positive behaviour when they become adults.

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Le Chambre Bleue Susane Valadon Object

Object Study 1, The Bed

Each issue of LYRA contains an object study relating to its theme. Lust presented us with a plethora of possibilities – lingerie, high-heels, masks, sex toys and so on – but, in the end, we decided to go right to the beginning, the source and the base: the bed.

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Pieter Bruegel the Elder The Seven Deadly Sins or the Seven Vices Lechery

Simon Blackburn on lust

Simon Blackburn will be defending our first issue’s central theme: lust.

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