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Sophie Calle: Did You See Me? [Hardcover]

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Item description for Sophie Calle: Did You See Me? by Christine Macel, Ive-Alan Bois, Yve-Alain Bois & Olivier Rolin...

The work of conceptual artist Sophie Calle embraces numerous media: photography, storytelling, film, and memoir, to name a few. Often controversial, Calle's projects explore issues of voyeurism, intimacy, and identity as she secretly investigates, reconstructs and documents the lives of strangers---whether she is inviting them to sleep in her bed, trailing them through a hotel, or following them through the city. Taking on multiple roles---detective, documentarian, behavioral scientist and diarist---Calle turns the interplay between life and art on its head. The book presents Calle's best-known works, including The Blind, No Sex Last Night, The Hotel, The Address Book and A Woman Vanishes, as well as lesser known and earlier projects that have largely escaped the public eye. The book also includes diary excerpts and video stills, along with three critical essays, a revealing interview with the artist and a dialogue with fellow artist Damien Hirst.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   444
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.75" Width: 6.5" Height: 9.25"
Weight:   2.65 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Publisher   Prestel Publishing
ISBN  3791330357  
ISBN13  9783791330358  

Availability  0 units.

More About Christine Macel, Ive-Alan Bois, Yve-Alain Bois & Olivier Rolin

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Christine Macel is chief curator at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. Elisabeth Sussman is curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. Elisabeth Sherman is assistant curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Schools, Periods & Styles > Modern
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > General
3Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Museums & Collections > General
4Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Sophie Calle: Did You See Me??

This book made me swoon  Aug 5, 2006
I wanted this book since I first saw it at the Tate Modern. It is an incredibly satisfying read. Sophie is a genius.
Intense art...wholesome book.  Jun 6, 2006
Sophie Calle uncovers gender relations as well as human qualities in her "explorations". She is an artist that inmerses herself in a situation and through th experience creates the content of her art. Magnificent artist. I do think there is a big deal of "womanhood" in her aproach to "situations". I believe she is one the few artist that have made me aware of gender relations in a very viceral and sublime way. This book takes you to the multidimetionality of her work while showing the work on itself. Is a book to read and and enjoy. Besides the book is really beautifull: different papers, and layouts within the same book. A substantial book of art.
Great Overview of Her Work, Leaving You Wanting to Know More  May 20, 2005
Published to accompany a 2003-2004 Pompidou Centre retrospective, this is a wonderful overview of the artist's 1978-2003 work. The book is chock-full of photos and text, and is divided into front matter, "shadows, investigations, vanishings", "hotel rooms, sleepless nights and other true stories", "games and ceremonies", "journeys", "absence", "Unfinished, 2003", and appendices.

The front matter includes a brief foreword and preface, a thoughtful essay "The author issue..." by Christine Macel, and a rather haphazard essay "The paper tigress" by Yve-Alain Bois. There are also 15 pages of excerpts (mainly in French) from Calle's 1978-1992 diaries.

The body of the book gives excerpts from about 30 of Calle's projects that take you on an emotional roller coaster ride. "Shadows, investigations, vanishings" starts with "Paris shadows, 1978-1979" in which Calle "followed strangers on the street." Then there's a "Biographical interview with Sophie Calle" by Christine Macel. "Suite venitienne, 1980" documents an intense following of a man visiting Venice. Calle contacted people listed in "The address book, 1983" that she found. "The shadow, 1981" and "Twenty years later, 2001" concern detective work. "A woman vanishes, 2003" is about the mysterious disappearance of a museum guard. "Beet, alfalfa, etc." by Oliver Rolin concludes this section.

"Hotel rooms, sleepless nights and other true stories" includes: "The sleepers, 1979" (people slept in her bed); "The hotel, 1981" (as a chambermaid, she photographed guests' belongings); "Bedroom, 2003," "True stories, 1988-2003," and "Appointment with Sigmund Freud, 1998" ("autobiographies" and associated places and objects); "Journey to California, 2003" (she sent her bed from France so a man could sleep in it); "Room with a view, 2002" (she spent a night in the Eiffel Tower listening to people's stories); and "Psychological assessment, 2003" (her mother, her friend, and she filled out forms which were given to a neuropsychologist and a psychiatrist to interpret).

The first two projects in "Games and ceremonies" are "The graves, 1990" (which consists of large photos of "plots" and made-up headstones) and "The striptease, 1979." While those are perhaps depressing, the rest of this section is mostly delightful: "The birthday ceremony, 1980-1993" (she photographed all the presents she received on her birthdays), "Gotham handbook, 1994" (she "prettied up" a phone booth in New York), "The chromatic diet, 1997" (she ate foods of a single color each day), and "Days under the sign of B, C & W, 1998" (she spent time as a Big-time Blonde Bimbo, in the Cemetery, and on a Weekend in Wallonia).

"Journeys" consists of "The Bronx, 1980" (an exhibit covered in graffiti); "Anatoli, 1984" (train ride with a Russian man); "Los Angeles, 1984" (Calle asked people in L.A. "where are the angels?"); "No sex last night, 1992" (movie about a road trip with a male artist); "The Eruv of Jerusalem, 1996" (public spaces that have private meanings); "The detachment, 1996" (people's memories of East German symbols removed from Berlin); and "Exquisite pain, 1984-2003" (Calle asked people about the worst times of their lives).

"Absence" deals with the loss of sight or the loss of art. "The blind, 1986" and "Color blind, 1991" asked what is beautiful for blind people, or what they can see. "Ghosts, 1989-1991" and "Last seen, 1991" asked for recollections of artwork loaned or stolen from museums.

The final project "Unfinished, 2003" is a sort of attempt to work through "writer's block." Calle documents her struggles to make something artistic from a 1988 series of video surveillance tapes from an American bank.

Appendices include a list of Calle's works, exhibitions, books, articles, etc. In addition, in the body of the book are notes as to where to find more info on projects if available; for example, "The striptease, 1979" was published with more material in "The Doctor's Daughter" (Fille du Docteur) of 1991, "Les Panoplies" of 1998, and "Double Game" of 1999. It's nice to have such references, because the snippets of projects in this book make you want to read more about them. But many of the projects in this book were previously unpublished, which adds to this book's unique value. Get hold of it from this!

BTW #1, here's a note on the book's title, which varies across bookstores and libraries. The photographically illustrated front cover (showing Calle with her hand over her left eye) says only (on three lines in a box to the right) "SO / PHIE / CALLE". The spine says the same. The back cover (whose photo is a mirror image of the front cover) contains in a box to the left "M'AS-TU VUE / M'AS-TU VU(E) ?: / Did you see me? / ... Vain person. (fam.) show-off. ...". The half-title page (just before the copyright page) has the same box of text as on the back cover. The box on the title page (just after the copyright page) has five lines: "SO / PHIE / CALLE / M'AS-TU / VUE". I therefore conclude that the title of this book, whose ISBN is given on the back cover and on the copyright page as 3-7913-3035-7, is best rendered as "Sophie Calle: M'as-tu Vue". Although the book itself is mostly in English, this French phrase preserves the double meaning intended.

BTW #2, the paper types and sizes used in the book vary considerably, which adds to its charm. The endpapers are salmon; the front matter is slightly gray; the diary pages are cream-colored; the section dividers (like "journeys") are pink; etc. Some of the pages with photos are glossy, but others are matte. Scattered between pages 84 and 281 are various pages attached to the spine but cut smaller than the 16.5x23.5 cm page size for the rest of the book. Examples include a postcard after page 122, and a number of installation views such as "Gotham Handbook, 1994" before page 273.
everything I'd hoped for  May 16, 2004
This book is much more satisifying than the usual exhibition catalog. It's dense and highly informational, but it's also very tactile and engaging in its presentation. Different paper stocks, postcard-size inserts and lovely puffy cover make it more of an artist's book. I'm so happy with it.

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