Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Sophie Calle's Suite Vénitienne

This is one of my favorite projects by one of my favorite artists that focuses on Venice, Italy as a location. From Stuart Jeffries's 2009 article in The Guardian:

"Calle went to Venice to follow a man she had met at a party, phoned hundreds of hotels until she found out where he was staying, and then persuaded a woman who lived opposite to let her photograph his comings and goings from her window. The result was a book called Suite Vénitienne, published in 1979."

Take Care of Yourself was one of the most talked about exhibitions at the 2009 Venice Biennale. I was fortunate enough to see it in 2009 at the Paula Cooper Gallery in NYC and now own the catalog. I can only imagine what it looked like in the French Pavilion.

I received an email telling me it was over.
I didn't know how to respond.
It was almost as if it hadn't been meant for me.
It ended with the words, "Take care of yourself."
And so I did.
I asked 107 women (including two made from wood and one with feathers),
chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter.
To analyze it, comment on it, dance it, sing it.
Dissect it. Exhaust it. Understand it for me.
Answer for me.
It was a way of taking the time to break up.
A way of taking care of myself.

-Sophie Calle

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