Wednesday, November 26, 2008

prenez soin de vous one of my favorite combinations of the French language. It means 'take care of yourself' and is the title of a book/exhibition by Sophie Calle, a French artist.

"In this remarkable artist's book, French conceptual artist/provocateur Sophie Calle presents 107 outside interpretations of a "breakup" e-mail she received from her lover the day he ended their affair. It is a deeply poignant investigation of love and loss, published to coincide with the 2007 Venice Biennale--where Calle served as that fair's French representative.

All of the interpreters of Calle's breakup letter were wom
en, and each was asked to analyze the document according to her profession--so that a writer comments on its style, a justice issues judgment, and a lawyer defends Calle's ex-lover. Other interpretations are offered by a psychoanalyst studying the ex's psychology, a mediator tries to find a path towards reconciliation, and a proofreader provides a literal edit of the text, etc.

In addition, Calle asked a variety of performers, including Nathalie Dessay, Laurie Anderson and Carla Bruni, among others, to act the letter out. She filmed the singers and actresses and photographed the other contributors, so that each printed interpretation stands alongside at least one riveting image of its author.

The result is a fascinating study and a deeply moving experience--as well as an artwork in its own right. Already a collector's item, this is a universal document of how it feels to grieve for love.
" --

I'm enamored with Charlotte Gainsbourg's voice and mostly her songs in French. I feel that this beautiful song fits the mood of this artwork and its ambitions to expose and provoke. And Nina, oh, Nina. This song is a must! Prenez soin de vous. Take care of yourself.

Charlotte Gainsbourg - L'un Part L'autre Reste
Nina Simone - Ne me Quitte Pas

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