Musee de la Chaise et la Nature: Pleureuse, Sophie Calle and Serena Carone, 2012.
The piece is a statue-fountain of a woman, chest up. Her head is slightly bowed and her shoulders are exposed. Slowly, one by a one, a tear drips from her left eye, then her right eye, then her left eye, and so on. She is mourning.
The piece is similar in size to a woman and appears to be a bust with a fountaining system inside. It is presented in a dark room juxtaposing the creamy white of the sculpture.
I was drawn to this sculpture because of its simplicity and how it looks like an ancient Greek sculpture as a fountain. It reminds me of something I once heard: if a child is crying loudly, it means they want attention, but if a child cries slowly, they mean it. I think this can be applied to adults as well. While crying is often sporadic and unrhythmic, the woman in Calle’s piece is crying evenly, continuously, and most importantly, peacefully. Left eye, right eye, left eye, right eye — almost like a walk. This expresses the inherent tenderness of a woman, and with this tenderness the ability to not only humbly accept pain and sadness but to respond to it with grace instead of anger. It expresses the ability to accept our own tears, allow ourselves to cry, to mourn, and then, continue on. Live on, walk on.