Paris, France, 1953.
French artist, writer and photographer. Following her parents’ separation when she was six years old, she began to search obsessively for her own identity. The aim of her work is to examine the private lives of human beings in general and her own in particular. She uses stories and scenes from ordinary life to confuse spectators, compelling them to decide whether what they are seeing is real or imagined. She uses a wide variety of media to convey her feelings: books, photographs, videos and performances. She travels the world in search of inspiration for her work.
Her work revolves around short stories: Les Dourmeurs, Suite Vénitienne, La Filature, L’Hotel, Les Aveugles, Autobiographical Stories, Les Tombes, etc. In all of them, the truth is called into question because they take place at the crossroads between what is real, what is invented, the artistic representation and even the artist’s own appearance as a character in the work. Spectators view her work with a sense of unease, uncertain about what they are actually seeing. She is a storyteller of art.
She invades the privacy of the protagonists of her works by depicting their daily lives as human beings. Her work explores the human relationships that may or may not exist. She provokes the spectator’s imagination to modify his behaviour, she steals the privacy and the lives of some to show them to others. She places them in a showcase where certain individuals are judged by others, without anyone knowing where the reality ends and the imagination begins. The dialogue that is created between the observed and the observer is never final. There is a sinister air to the resulting lack of communication, as many open questions remain for the surprised spectator. The spectator’s interpretation does not alter the reality of the protagonist, who is unaware of the fable that is created around him. In other words, he is an unwitting protagonist.
She is obsessed with the theme of blindness. Her first work focusing on the blind was in 1986. In 2010 she revisited the theme of blindness. At the photography festival, Rencontres d’ Arles, in 2012, two of her works were exhibited under a single title: “Pour la dernière et pour la première fois”. It was then exhibited in Paris at the Perrotin Gallery. At the same time, another exhibit, “Sophie Calle: Historias de pared” was displayed at the Art Museum of the Bank of the Republic in Bogotá.
Calle has exhibited at the Boijmans-van Beuningen Museum in Rotterdam, the Contemporary Arts Museum in Houston, the Centre d'Art Contemporain in Copenhagen, the La Caixa Foundation in Madrid, the Tate Gallery in London, the Centre National de la Photographie in Paris, the National Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Palacio de la Virreina in Barcelona, etc. She also participated in the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007.
She is a recipient of the Hasselblad Foundation international award.
Lives and works in Malakoff (France).
Works in the collection: