Saturday, 2 April 2011
Sophie Calle - (1953) is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist.
Sophie Calle is a French artist who works with photographs and performances, placing herself in situations almost as if she and the people she encounters were fictional. She also imposes elements of her own life onto public places creating a personal narrative where she is both author and character. She has been called a detective and a voyeur and her pieces involve serious investigations as well as natural curiousity.
"...These works had involved me so much in the act of following that I wanted, in a certain way, to reverse these relationships. So I asked my mother to hire a private detective to follow me, without him knowing that I had arranged it, and to provide photographic evidence of my existence." -Sophie Calle
The novelist Paul Auster based a character, Maria, on Calle in his novel Leviathan (1992). After reading the novel, Calle decided to try and become the character, to recreate the parts of Maria that Auster had made up. Maria had a "chromatic diet", eating food of only one colour on a given day. Monday orange: carrots, cantaloupe, shrimps. Tuesday red: tomatoes, steak tartar. And so on. For a week, Calle followed this regime and photographed it.
"He had used my real life to create a fictional character and I wanted to reverse the process. I asked him to write a character that I could become. But he wouldn't. He said it was too dangerous. He didn't want to be responsible if something happened. He offered me something more simple," -Sophie Calle.