share your darkest secrets with sophie calle

The French artist's next performance piece will live for 25 years in Brooklyn's most famous cemetery.

by Taylor Ford
21 March 2017, 10:55pm

Image Pascal Ferro via Wikimedia Commons

French conceptual artist Sophie Calle is best known for her controversial performance pieces. From publishing the contents of an address book she found on the street to inviting acquaintances to sleep in her bed and hiring a private detective to photograph her, her body of work has long explored intimacy and human connection, often by putting personal narratives (including her own diary entries) on public display. She's no stranger to strangers, and for her latest work, she's counting on them to provide the words.

For Calle's upcoming piece Here Lie The Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery, she is asking participants to meet her in Brooklyn's most historic burial site to spill their deepest, darkest secrets. The piece will run for 25 years, commencing this April with a two-day inaugural performance, during which Calle will collect and transcribe these confessions, and slip the notes into a marble obelisk of her own design.

Creative Time, the nonprofit arts organization behind Here Lie, testifies that "Calle has also pledged to return periodically over the next 25 years, each time the grave is filled, to exhume and cremate [the slips] in a ceremonial bonfire service and moment of remembrance."

Visitors are also encouraged to join guided walking tours of the cemetery, where notable New Yorkers including Jean-Michel Basquiat are buried. The performance will conclude in 2042, so if you have something urgent to get off your chest, let this work remind you that time is running out…  

Visit Here Lie The Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn starting April 29, 2017. More information here.


Text Taylor Ford
Image Pascal Ferro via Wikimedia Commons

Creative Time
Sophie Calle
Green-Wood Cemetery