Self-Portrait Of The Artist As Her Mother

Anna Furman writes: ‘In the exhibition “Selves and Others,” on view now at San Francisco’s Museum of Modern Art, there is a self-portrait of Sophie Calle (pictured) called The Plastic Surgery (2000), in which a close-up photograph of the artist’s face is supplemented with text that begins, “When I was fourteen, my grandparents suggested that I needed plastic surgery.” The image is neatly cropped, just below her eyebrows and above her neck, magnifying the artist’s nose. Calle’s family, like my own, is Jewish. Raised in postwar Paris, steeped in a culture marked by anti-Semitism, her family was evidently less accepting of stereotypically Jewish features than my own, American family was.’

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