Identity Essay

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I am going to be exploring both Sophie Calle and Jo Spence’s work, the piece I am going to be writing about on behalf of Sophie Calle titled “The Sleepers” and on behalf of Jo Spence I am going to be exploring a piece titled “Narrative of Disease”. The focus of my personal practise is identity, identity in it’s broadest sense, from what people think of their own identities to loss of identity. I believe that these two artists explore identity in such unusual and inspiring ways that have heavily influenced my own work. Sophie Calle’s work is something that has influenced my own creative practise on identity. Her work is invasive and intimate almost pulling you as a viewer into the everyday life of a human. One piece that truly captured me was “The Sleepers”. The focus on this piece was to take individual from their own personal space and essentially put them in Sophie Calle’s personal space. “I asked people to give me a few hours of their sleep. To come and sleep in my bed. To let themselves be looked at and photographed. To answer questions. To each participant I suggested an eight hour stay”. This piece is so heavily based on identity but from such an usual perspective, because not only is it looking at those individuals sleeping but they're sleeping in a place that the artist spends a large amount of her own time. Not only are you looking at the identity of those in the bed but the artist is in-fact an insider on this piece of work due to the fact that their in her personal space. Abigail Solomon-Godeau’s argument based on whether a photographer is an insider or outsider in a piece of their artwork is something that should be taken into account when looking at Sophie Calle’s work. You could argue that because Sophie has no relation to these people she is nothing but an outsider, attempting to depict people and the human identity. But because she’s

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