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because Baudrillard is dead

September 23, 2009

[Guardian]  Years earlier, [Sophie Calle] had duped [her father] into bankrolling her travels. “I was studying with Jean Baudrillard, and my father agreed he would pay me a sum of money if I got my diploma. But I didn’t want to finish it. I told Baudrillard. He said, ‘Don’t worry, I’ll pass off some other student’s exam papers as yours. You’ll get your diploma.'” This is a scoop: the professor who famously argued that the first Gulf war did not take place ensured that Sophie Calle got a diploma for work she never did. “I can tell this story now because Baudrillard is dead,” Calle says. What did her father think? “I got my diploma,” she shrugs. “How was not his concern.”

Her father was a doctor and an art collector. “He collected pop art, and a lot of it consisted of photographs with accompanying text.” Just like Calle’s? “Just like mine,” she agrees. “I came back to seduce him. I wanted to do something that made him happy for me.” To be honest, I don’t believe this story, except as a retrospective explanation of an unconscious impulse. Later, she tells me that none of her work is done for therapeutic reasons: “If the work is therapeutic, that is a side effect for which I’m thankful.”  (read)

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