Sophie: Thirty-six days ago, the man I love left me. It was January 25, 1985, at two in the morning, in room 261 of the Imperial Hotel. I had gone away to Japan for three months and we were supposed to be meeting up at New Delhi airport. He was coming from Paris, me from Tokyo. For ninety-two days I had been counting the hours keeping me from this reunion. I was happier than I'd ever been before. And just at that moment I was given a message: I had to call my father, M. was in hospital. Since we had just spoken, I imagined an accident on the way to Orly airport. That he was injured, or dead. That my father had been given the job of announcing the news. It never occurred to me that it was just a trick to get out of our rendezvous. It took me ten hours to get through. My father didn't know a thing. I tried to call M. at home. He picked up the phone. He muttered something about an infected finger that needed treatment. I understood that he was leaving me. Over the phone. The cheap way. Saved himself the journey. Unknown: It was in 1983. August. There was no hope for him. We all came to Los Angeles. To the Cedar Sinai Hospital. I stayed in his room a whole week, just sitting. Sitting. His eyes had been shut all week. Basically, he wasn't there. On the seventh day, a Sunday - I was holding his hand - all of a sudden he opened his eyes - they were green - and looked at me. I was so overjoyed that I shouted, "He's awake!" "But he isn't breathing," answered his sister. The last thing he did was look straight at me, then die. I am obsessed by the contrast between my expectations and those few words: "But he isn't breathing." And I thought those open eyes meant there was more time. My image of death is so influenced by the movies that I thought he could revive, like on television. What made him open his eyes? Did he know he was about to die and want to take a last look at this world he was leaving? I can't get that look out of my head. Those staring, open eyes. Busy dying. Exquisite Pain is a large installation in two parts. The first part of the project presents Calle's trip preceding her catastrophe, told through collected photos and ephemera of 92 days that the artist saw as a countdown to her rejection and despair. Each photograph or document is stamped with a number indicating the remaining amount of "days until unhappiness". The second part of the exhibition pairs Calle's story, told repeatedly from several different angles, with others' recollections of pain and heartache. The stories are embroidered on linen and presented as twenty-one diptychs, with one version of Calle's story (on dark grey linen) accompanying an anonymous story (on white linen). Over each embroidery is a photograph illustrating an aspect of the memory being retold. In the case of the artist's story, the same photograph is repeated: that of a red telephone in a hotel room, the telephone from which she heard that her love affair had ended. Exquisite pain / Douleur exquise series

About The Gallery

Perrotin Seoul
Founded in Paris in 1990 by Emmanuel Perrotin, then 21 years old, the gallery has become one of the most
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