(No Sex Last Night)
In the context of the North American premiere of Sophie Calle’s acclaimed exhibition Prenez soin de vous (Take care of yourself) – a project based on a break-up email received by the artist from her lover – DHC/ART is delighted to present multiple screenings of the thematically related and equally acclaimed video Double-Blind (No Sex Last Night).
Sophie Calle and American co-director Gregory Shephard are already in the middle of their break-up yet embark on a voyage across the United States, each equipped with a camcorder pointed at one another. Travelling from New York to San Francisco in an old and ailing Cadillac, each produces a radically different version (she in French, he in English) of their real-life relationship. Using the familiar shot/counter shot of classical cinema, they travel cross-country, but bitterly at cross-purposes.
The video moves deftly as a series of contrasting monologues through an ever-changing landscape dotted with roadside weirdoes, and with artists such as Bruce Nauman, whose ranch they visit in New Mexico. The fascinating results are both a send-up and re-assertion of gender stereotypes and cultural expectations. Although Calle manages to marry her man at a Las Vegas drive-through, a desperate and moving attempt to gain physical intimacy and commitment pervades her account. This finds a perfect encapsulation in repeated shots of empty motel beds over which she laments: “No sex last night.”
Original version in English and French
Sophie Calle and Gregory Shephard
Courtesy Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York