Sophie Calle’s work exists on the borders of photography and conceptual art. Her work is rarely aesthetic in the pictorial sense, but setms from her curiosity at realising an idea or action.
At the core of Calle’s work is a child-like curiosity with life and people. It’s not so much about making art as allowing herself to be taken on an adventure by an idea.
- Her work sometimes raises ethical issues related to privacy, and in return she is very open about her own life.
I think that if you are going to intrude on someone else’s privacy, even if you are doing that in a public setting like a street, then you have to be prepared for other people to do the same to you.
- What are your moral feeling about following a stranger to make photographs of him?
I feel that following a stranger and taking photos of him is something that I would not be comfortable doing.
Taking photos of people without them realising it, is the basis for Street Photography. Actively following someone in order to take photos of them borders on stalking them.
If you worked for a newspaper or magazine then taking photos of people without their knowledge is part of the job but for someone who doesn’t work in that profession or following someone who is ordinary, is an intrusion on their privacy.
It’s something that I’d feel morally uncomfortable doing.
- Can you think of an adventure you could go on – however banal it may seem – that would put you in a different position than you are accustomed to when making photographs.?
In a few weeks time I will be travelling to Finland and staying in Lahti in the Lakeland area. After I’ve finished the triathlon I’m there to do I’ll have a chance to explore a bit of the area by taking a boat trip. Taking photographs while afloat isn’t something I get a chance to do on a regular basis.
- Is there a job you could take that would give you access to a certain kind of subject that you wouldn’t otherwise have access to?
At work our communications department make use of photographers for some publicity work. Changing role and taking on one in that area would provide me with access to aircraft, ships and other vehicles, at various stages of development, that I wouldn’t normally have access to.