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.

Fluidity – not fixed, firm, or stable.

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Fluid – b. fig. and of non-physical things: Flowing or moving readily; not solid or rigid; not fixed, firm, or stable.

Beauty is an abstract concept. Century after century, philosophers have sought to define it and place it within the perimeters of language and meaning, yet still today beauty continues to evade such categorization. It knows no boundaries, for it is visceral and experienced emotionally within the present. Beauty is, by its nature, fluid.

Ever since antiquity, humans have endeavored to capture the immediate emotional impact of beauty, and solidify it into form. Take the child struggling in vain to net the butterfly in order to confine its beauty within the perimeter of a glass jar, or the husband, layering slab after slab of stone to transform the unpredictable beauty of his wife into the solidity of a statue. Each reflects an intrinsic human desire to capture beauty and make it one’s own by validating it through the process of art. Statues have long functioned as a way of cementing the fleeting, fluid and transient nature of human beauty and transforming it into an aesthetic that is easily accessible to the human gaze. Consequently, this desire serves to perpetuate vanity; by reflecting the beauty of another, statues allow for reflection of the beauty and idolatry of oneself. This desire to create form out of an ephemeral concept has lead to beauty becoming defined as a concept that is fixed, static and ocular. It has become a notion built upon social constructs, defined by its ability to be consumed and consequently validated by the human gaze.

Text by Alice Hall. Image by Beso Uznadze.

Read the full article here.

eve wears read, rebound

New York based artists Elliot Camarra and Guy Kozak recently finished a new short film ‘In This My Life,’ which is a sequel to their previous collaboration ‘Eve Wears Red, Rebound’.

This is an excerpt from the conversation LYRA had with Elliot and Guy:

Is our culture too much or too little obsessed with the past?
Elliot: From my experience of our culture, people seem to be more obsessed with the future than the past right now. Whether or not that’s true, there’s always a kind of magic when you find yourself to be the receiver of a set of clues to somebody else’s story.

What themes do you explore through your art and why do you use film as a medium?
Elliot: We both are interested in gender in a way that makes our work parallel. My paintings and sculptural work often consider femininity and Guy’s movies often deal with masculinity. We both approach our ideas through a kind of domestic surrealism. Guy: Film is a naturally collaborative medium. In the preparation and shooting, we’ve found that it works well as a vehicle for combining our individual aesthetics and interests. In the editing phase, where the projects really start to take shape, we assemble the footage with a joint painterly intuition that turns it into something neither of us could have anticipated.

Read the full interview with Elliot Camarra and Guy Kozak here.

 

 

On Pride and Vanity

Tuchi - Gallo

Tuchi – Gallo

 

“Pride goes before destruction,” we read in proverbs, “and a haughty spirit before a fall.”

“Vanity involves esteeming oneself for goods that are only estimable in opinion – that is, only because people agree to esteem them.”

Jeff J.S. Black teaches at St. John’s College in Annapolis, Maryland. He is the author of Rousseau’s Critique of Science: A Commentary on the Discourse on the Sciences and the Arts. He is working on a book on human nature and human enhancement in modern political thought. He frequently suffers from double vision.

Read his full essay “It’s all about me” in LYRA’s second issue here.

Arianna Lago

  126331189488              screen-shot-2016-10-15-at-17-23-41              www-ariannalago-com

Initially, Arianna Lago trained as a composer and sound artist – look at those vibrant notes in her use of colour.

Arianna Lago is an Italian photographer based in London. Mainly using 35mm her work lets transpire emotions, effortless fragility, and a painterly organic feel. She’s both attracted by the beautiful and the odd and her aim in photography is to find a way to bring those elements together in one image. Fundamental parts of her visual lexicon are also the use of rich colour palettes, elements of surreal and nostalgia in the everyday.

See her full photo essay for LYRA’s second issue here.

Menstruation and Art: Fighting the Stigma

The female menstrual cycle has long been heralded as the pinnacle of cultural taboo. For centuries, women have been encouraged to pretend the monthly percolation of blood that drives the circle of life doesn’t exist. In a way paralleling John Mirk’s fifteenth Century parable, history has determined the menstrual cycle as something neither seen, heard, […]