Preparing to move to London has me looking through all of my old things, from college art projects to old photographs and love letters, exhibition brochures, travel tickets and concert stubs. I came across one of my favorite exhibition pieces that I'd saved from a few years ago by French artist Sophie Calle and it felt like a fitting time to share it.
This piece was shown as part of The Progress of LOVE exhibition organized by The Pulitzer in 2012. I was able to attend Sophie's Artist Talk and the exhibition opening. The exhibition focused on the final stage of love's narrative arc — its loss and aftermath.
I felt particularly drawn to Sophie's piece, which was inspired by a breakup letter that her ex-boyfriend had emailed her. This letter was printed out on a piece of paper and handed out to everyone who entered the exhibit, along with a booklet full of responses to it by 107 different women (including a parrot). The exhibit also included photographs, videos, and installation pieces that documented the range of interpretations.
I connected with Sophie's desire to dissect the letter's meaning in order to sort through painful emotions. By distributing the letter out to 107 women, she's also separating herself from it and letting it turn into something else entirely. She's letting the healing process unfold into an intriguing piece of art and I really admire that openness.