The Hotel 

Presented on November 14th and 17th at the

Harn Museum of Art. 

The Hotel, Room 24, March 2 
1983


the curator writes: 
In 1981, The french conceptual artist Sophie Calle worked as a chambermaid in a venetian hotel for three weeks. As she cleaned rooms, she also examined the guests’ personal effects, read their private papers, and attempted to reconstruct their lives. Calle recorded this project by creating a series of photographic diptychs juxtaposing With this unsettling work, Calle continues an artistic and autobiographical project that examines the blurring of private and public domain and exposes the inherent character of photography as an act of surveillance.

Initially after spending time with the work of art and the label description, the words that came to mind were: Intimate, invasive, jarring, seeking, unsure, surveillance, private, exposed, detective, suitcase, key, inviting, curiosity, nostalgic, distant, vulnerable, consent and lack of. the phrase “Haven’t I already visited these?” and the phrase “Tomorrow they’ll be gone,'' These initially thoughts inform my creation process with this piece. 

In my own current choreographic research I explore acts of surveillance within enclosed spaces that become private places of expression. This work aligns with my current interests and therefore demanded I respond to it. At first glance, I connected to the text, the text to me mimics diary entries and gave me a sense of Calle as a detective in this space. I was intrigued.

My current work has been structured improvisationally based. So I find that through drawing pictures of pathways of the space and giving myself tasks and prompts during the duration of the piece to be my current technique of dance making. I asked my friend Lauren Crandle to send voice recordings of the text to accompany me. 
(I first thought to memorize the entire text myself but time was not on my friend) 
I have interests in music editing so once I received her recordings I was able to create the sound score that you heard to suggest an experience of the character I played reminiscing in the space and reflect the sensations I personally felt reading it. 
I wanted to embody the sensations that I assume Calle felt within the week that she visited room 24 in 1981 as well as the sensations that perhaps she would now looking back now. Calle in her work creates a portrait of the room through its occupant. As you can see this is a specific space. I enjoy creating site specific work and learning the ways in which an artist can challenge an ordinary space. I hope to make this space feel anew and perhaps unlock something within you that It did to me.