Sophie Calle is one of the most renowned French artists. For about forty years, her work has been a combination of narratives, photography, performance and video ; blurring the lines between fiction and reality, the intimate and the public sphere. As Alfred Pacquement writes, “Sophie Calle is a first-person artist. In her works she directs herself, unreservedly, using direct language to recount stories she has lived, with impressive attention to detail. She turns onlookers into accomplices to her privacy and leaves them no way out.”
The work of Sophie Calle has been exhibited in numerous international museums. A retrospective of her work was held at the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris in 2003, then at Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen.
The exhibition opens with a series of new photographs from the series Parce que (which means because) concealed by curtains embroidered with text for viewers to read before lifting the curtain to discover the image behind it. The text that begins with the word «Parce que» explains the reason why this image exists, why the artist chose this specific place or time. In such a way, “Parce que la tentation de la suivre” (Because the temptation to follow it) applies to La ligne blanche (2018), a photograph of a road divider line sinking under water, or «Parce que quoi d’autre après plus rien ?» (Because what else after nothing more?) precedes Plurien, sortie (2018), a shot of a town exit sign opposite the Plurien cemetery. The justification for the photograph can thus be understood before the image, in a unique tautological rapport that questions the text-image relationship.Sarah Haugeneder (sgwendid)
Sophie Calle is no stranger to the interplay between creators, partnering occasionally with authors (, Double Game) and artists (, No Sex Last Night), amongst others. For her project “Souris Calle”, shown for the first time at Perrotin, the artist called upon a team of around forty musicians and singers. She further expands the notion of author to share the mourning and celebration of a loved one. This monomania leads here to a collaborative procedure with musicians, like an act of resilience to fill the void of the loss of Souris. “I remarked her obsessive return to the past that she conjures by cumulative snippets into what appears to be a more unitary whole.
The exhibition finishes with a selection of works from the series “Autobiographies” tied to Souris’ death. Juxtaposing framed texts with photographs, these “Autobiographies” are one of the artist’s most celebrated series. Since 1991, they have been exhibited around the world: the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain de la Ville de Paris, the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Sprengel Museum Hannover, and the Centre for Fine Arts in Brussels (BOZAR), to name a few. Art historian RoseLee Goldberg said of her that “she has made her life a continuous performance”. Between collaborative projects, appropriations and games, Sophie Calle has developed a singular oeuvre, one with autobiographical pretexts but a universal reach.
With this project, Sophie Calle further expands the notion of author to share the mourning and celebration of a loved one. As art critic describes, “(Sophie) shares with the bereaved who, to contain their grief, elevate their dearly departed to an ideal of perfection. It leads here to a collaborative procedure with musicians, like an act of resilience to fill the void of the loss of Souris. “I remarked her obsessive return to the past that she conjures by cumulative snippets into what appears to be a more unitary whole.” This album is more than a musical compilation; it is a complex piece of work that creates a unity in the absence.Reginita Bonita (@queenyqueeny)
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