Sophie Calle

Sophie Calle

1953 - Present

Sophie Calle, well-known for her intense surveillance of complete strangers and performative autobiographical works, departs from her previous style in the image of a single headstone for a pair of twins, Untitled (The Graves) from her larger series The Graves. In this series, she takes large-scale black and white photographs of graves and their markers, revealing the names and inscriptions. With an extraordinary comfort level, Calle sits in cemeteries for hours at a time (once a year at her own pre-purchased tomb), claiming that they are one of her "personal obsessions." In a sense resurrecting the dead, Calle's works speak more about the absence of the figures than their actual presence, creating infinite possibilities for their lives and deaths. This image, at once intensely private and casually public, recalls the spirit of her earlier works, which include a series of photographs of objects found in hotel rooms where she once worked as a maid and a month-long investigation of a stranger traveling in Venice.

Currently living in Paris, Calle has worked as an artist for more than twenty-five years. She has had more than sixty solo exhibitions, including shows at the Tate Gallery, London; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Sprengel Museum, Hannover, Germany; and Hana Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo. Her work has been in over 130 group shows, including the Museum of Contemporary Photography's exhibition The Furtive Gaze in 2000. Her videos have been screened at ICA, London; Whitney Biennial, New York; and the New York Film Festival.

Text © Museum of Contemporary Photography, 2018