‘Person’ Research

With this project title I have decided to create a piece of work based on stalking. To help me with how I approach this concept I decided to research Sophie Calle. I have decided to research this artist because of the way in which she follows complete strangers without them knowing documenting their behaviour through photos notes. I also feel that the concepts within her work, although created 30 years ago are even more relevant today. Her work focuses on the boundaries between freedom and control, surveillance and the anonymous. With the growing popularity of social media websites such as Facebook and Twitter we are constantly venerable to stalkers, we are online prey. This is why I think Calle is so important to my project, as she worked in a time before the internet where intimate information can be accessed in the click of a button, yet she still found ways to stalk her subjects vigorously, for example phoning hundreds of hotels in Venice just to find out where one man was staying. I feel that I could use her techniques to expose how frightening it is to live in modern times where anybody or anything can be found in a wifi range. Another reason why I felt it was important to look at Calle’s work is the way in which she presents her work with photographs accompanied by text. This is something that I have been considering for my own work, as I feel this will contribute to the documentation element that I want my piece to be about. Calle claims that the motivation behind her work was because she had no friends and was bored, so there is this parallel of loneliness that inhabits her work, this idea that she is just so desperate to escape from her own life and be apart of others.Image

This has made me consider the fact that not only do I want my piece to document the behavior of the stalked, but also create a character for the stalker. To help me with this I researched famous stalkers, and from this research it was made clear to me how social media websites have increased stalking tendencies. It also educated me on the fact that there are different types of stalkers, ranging from minor to major assaults. This helped me reflect on what the aim of the stalkers character was, I came to the conclusion that it will be most realistic if the stalker is simply infatuated with their victim, wishing to know as much about them as possible, possibly wanting to build a relationship with them at some point using the information they have gathered to their advantage.

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