Conversation with the Nameless
A conversation about "self-burial" between artist Sophie Calle and a man without identity. In this video the two artists meet for the first time, to discuss an artistic idea which they have discovered that they share: arranging and attending your own funeral.
French artist Sophie Calle (born 1953) meets a Danish writer that has no name to talk about attending your own funeral. At first it seems they have had the same idea, but it turns out that their reasons and thoughts about their respective projects are very different.
Sophie Calle is a French photographer, writer and conceptual artist. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy.
The artist formerly known as Claus Beck-Nielsen (born 1963) declared himself dead in 2001 and a silicone effigy of him was buried in 2011 at the Assistens cemetery in Copenhagen.
The body Claus Beck-Nielsen used to occupy remains living, and worked for the corporation Das Beckwerk until 2011, when Das Beckwerk closed.
Das Beckwerk Museum opened in 2011 in order to continue the remains of the artist who now calls himself ’Nielsen’.
”The reason why your mother's funeral became fantastic was that she was actually dead.” Says the nameless man to Sophie Calle.
”It's a light fantasy for me, it's not a heavy fantasy, it doesn't mean I want to die…” Sophie Calle compares arranging her funeral to arranging her wedding. She explains that she is a control freak and she wants to have a magnificent theatrical funeral, organizing where her friends are seated etc. – and importantly, is present to see what happens.
The conversation between Sophie Calle and the nameless man was filmed at the Louisiana Museum in 2010.
Camera: Kim Hansen
Edited by: Kamilla Bruus
Produced by: Christian Lund
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2013
Supported by Nordea-fonden