Exquisite Pain


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A man and a woman tell stories of ordinary and not-so-ordinary heartbreak, each story accompanied by a single iconic image. A red telephone on a hotel bed. A subway station. The view from a window. A green Mercedes.

The woman repeatedly recounts the story of the end of an affair, remembering it differently each time, while the man tells stories from many different people; snapshots of sorrow in a catalogue of suffering, break-ups, humiliations, deaths, bad dentistry and love letters that never arrive.

In this simple and intimate performance, based on a project by renowned French conceptual artist Sophie Calle, Forced Entertainment explore how language, memory and forgetting move to contain, preserve or erase events; how people come to terms with trauma. Exquisite Pain is about love, loss, and the stories we tell ourselves when things have gone wrong.

High quality multi-camera performance documentation recorded at Riverside Studios, London, November 2005, 130 mins. approx.

Additional information

Weight 87.0 kg