Over the past 30 years, artist Sophie Calle (born 1953) has orchestrated small moments of life as art, each time establishing a game, then setting its rules for herself and for others. Calle’s work springs up around “the association of an image and a narrative around a game or autobiographical ritual, which strives to summon up the angst of absence while creating a relationship to others that is controlled by the artist,” as curator and art critic Christine Macel puts it. Calle has carried out and documented these melancholy games in books, photographs, videos, films and performances. Sophie Calle: My All finds the artist experimenting with yet another mediums—the postcard set. Taking stock of her entire oeuvre, this set of postcards functions as a beautiful portfolio of Calle’s work, as well as a new investigation of it, in an appropriately nomadic format.
Published by Violette Editions. With the participation of Paul Auster.
Double Game was the first major publication in English by French artist Sophie Calle (born 1953), and is her bestselling title to date. It takes the form of a double jeu or double game between the work of Sophie Calle and the fiction of Paul Auster. The story begins with Maria, a fictional character in Paul Auster’s novel, Leviathan. Most of the fictional Maria’s works are, in fact, based on those of the real-life Sophie Calle. The first section of Double Game features Calle’s representations of the fictional Maria’s works. We see the pieces both as they’re described in their fictional context and as Calle’s own interpretation of the descriptions from Paul Auster’s novel. In the second section, the story delves deeper into Calle’s world, with a sequence of Calle’s seminal narrative and abstract works in texts and images that were in turn appropriated by the fictional Maria in Leviathan. The third section of Double Game switches the focus back to Maria’s original creator, Paul Auster, who takes Calle as his subject, formulating for her the Gotham Handbook, which offers personalized instructions for the artist on “How to Improve Life in New York City.” This is the British edition of the 2007 reprint.
The Address Book, a key and controversial work in Sophie Calle's oeuvre, lies at the epicenter of many layers of reality and fiction. Having found a lost address book on the street in Paris, Calle copied the pages before returning it anonymously to its owner. She then embarked on a search to come to know this stranger by contacting listed individuals--in essence, following him through the map of his acquaintances. Originally published as a serial in the newspaper Libération over the course of one month, her incisive written accounts with friends, family and colleagues, juxtaposed with photographs, yield vivid subjective impressions of the address book's owner, Pierre D., while also suggesting ever more complicated stories as information is parsed and withheld by the people she encounters. Collaged through a multitude of details--from the banal to the luminous, this fragile and strangely intimate portrait of Pierre D. is a prism through which to see the desire for, and the elusivity of, knowledge. Upon learning of this work and its publication in the newspaper, Pierre D. expressed his anger, and Calle agreed not to republish the work until after his death. Until then, The Address Book had only been described in English--as the work of the character Maria Turner, whom Paul Auster based on Calle in his novel Leviathan; and in Double Game, Calle's monograph which converses with Auster's novel. This is the first trade publication in English of The Address Book (Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles released a suite of lithographs modeled on the original tabloid pages from Libération in an edition of 24). The book has the physical weight and feel of an actual address book with a new design of text and images which allow the story to unfold and be savored by the reader.
After following strangers on the streets in Paris for months, photographing them and notating their movements, Sophie Calle ran into a man at an opening whom she had followed earlier that day. "During the course of our conversation, he told me he was planning an imminent trip to Venice. I decided to follow him," she writes at the beginning of Suite Vénitienne, her first artist's book and the crucible of her inimitable fusion of investigatory methods, fictional constructs, the plundering of real life and the composition of self. Over the course of almost two weeks in Venice, Calle notates, in time-stamped entries, her surveillance of Henri B., as well as her own emotions as she seeks, finds and follows him through the labyrinthine streets of Venice. Her investigation is both methodical (calling every hotel, visiting the police station) and arbitrary (sometimes following a stranger—a flower delivery boy, for instance—hoping someone might lead her to him). This Siglio reissue is a completely new iteration of Suite Vénitienne (first published in 1988 and long out of print), designed in collaboration with Calle to be the definitive English-language edition. Printed on Japanese paper with a die-cut cover and gilded edges, this beautiful new Siglio edition allows readers to devour this crucial and compelling work.
Sophie Calle (born 1953) is an internationally renowned artist whose controversial works explore the tensions between the observed, the reported, the secret and the unsaid. She has mounted solo shows at major museums around the world and represented France at the Venice Biennale in 2007. Her most recent US exhibition was the acclaimed Rachel, Monique at the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in Manhattan in 2014.
Detachment is based on the same principle as Sophie Calle’s earlier work Fantômes and Souvenirs, exploring once again the topic of artefacts vanished from public view and how those familiar with these objects felt about them. In this volume, Calle interviews inhabitants of the former East Berlin, whom she asked to react to the disappearance of various symbols, monuments or commemorative plaques--for example, the Two Soldiers Monument on Hohenschönhauser Strasse or the East German Republic insignia on the façade of the Republican Palace. Actes Sud makes this book available again for the first time since its original publication in 2000.
For Voir la mer, Sophie Calle invited inhabitants of Istanbul, who often originated from central Turkey, to see the sea for the first time. “I took 15 people of all ages, from kids to one man in his 80s … once we were safely by the sea, I instructed them to take away their hands and look at it. Then, when they were ready--for some it was five minutes and for others 15--they had to turn to me and let me look at those eyes that had just seen the sea.” The project was eventually composed of 14 five-minute videos, made for Calle by Caroline Champetier. Each person is filmed from behind, eventually turning to face the camera, revealing the emotions the experience has evoked. This charming catalogue features Calle’s evocative photographs of these subjects.
With Blind, French conceptual artist Sophie Calle (born 1953) revisits three earlier works constructed around the idea of blindness. In “Les Aveugles” (“The Blind”), created in 1986, she questioned blind people on their representation of beauty; in 1991, in “La Couleur Aveugle” (“Blind Color”), she asked blind people about their imagination of perception and compared their descriptions to artists’ musings on the monochrome; “La Dernière Image” (“The Last Image”), produced in 2010 in Istanbul, involved questioning people who had lost their sight on the last image they could remember. By establishing a dialectic between the testimonies of several generations of blind people and Calle’s photographs based on these accounts, the artist offers readers a reflection on absence, on the loss of one sense and the compensation of another and on the notion of the visible and the invisible.
Published by Dis Voir/Actes Sud. Text by Sophie Calle.
In this remarkable artist's book, French conceptual artist/provocateur Sophie Calle presents 107 outside interpretations of a "breakup" e-mail she received from her lover the day he ended their affair. Featuring a stamped pink metallic cover, multiple paper changes, special bound-in booklets, bright green envelopes containing DVDs and even Braille endpapers, it is a deeply poignant investigation of love and loss, published to coincide with the 2007 Venice Biennale--where Calle served as that fair's French representative. All of the interpreters of Calle's breakup letter were women, and each was asked to analyze the document according to her profession--so that a writer comments on its style, a justice issues judgment, a lawyer defends Calle's ex-lover, a psychoanalyst studies his psychology, a mediator tries to find a path towards reconciliation, a proofreader provides a literal edit of the text, etc. In addition, Calle asked a variety of performers, including Nathalie Dessay, Laurie Anderson and Carla Bruni, among others, to act the letter out. She filmed the singers and actresses and photographed the other contributors, so that each printed interpretation stands alongside at least one riveting image of its author, and some are also accompanied by digital documentation. The result is a fascinating study and a deeply moving experience--as well as an artwork in its own right. Already a collector's item, this is a universal document of how it feels to grieve for love.