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Sophie Calle: Take Care of Yourself [Hardcover]

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Item description for Sophie Calle: Take Care of Yourself by Sophie Calle...

In this remarkable artist's book, French conceptual artist/provocateur Sophie Calle presents 107 outside interpretations of a "breakup" e-mail she received from her lover the day he ended their affair. Featuring a stamped pink metallic cover, multiple paper changes, special bound-in booklets, bright green envelopes containing DVDs and even Braille endpapers, it is a deeply poignant investigation of love and loss, published to coincide with the 2007 Venice Biennale--where Calle served as that fair's French representative. All of the interpreters of Calle's breakup letter were women, and each was asked to analyze the document according to her profession--so that a writer comments on its style, a justice issues judgment, a lawyer defends Calle's ex-lover, a psychoanalyst studies his psychology, a mediator tries to find a path towards reconciliation, a proofreader provides a literal edit of the text, etc. In addition, Calle asked a variety of performers, including Nathalie Dessay, Laurie Anderson and Carla Bruni, among others, to act the letter out. She filmed the singers and actresses and photographed the other contributors, so that each printed interpretation stands alongside at least one riveting image of its author, and some are also accompanied by digital documentation. The result is a fascinating study and a deeply moving experience--as well as an artwork in its own right. Already a collector's item, this is a universal document of how it feels to grieve for love.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   424
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 1.25" Width: 8.25" Height: 12"
Weight:   4.5 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Dec 15, 2007
Publisher   Dis Voir/Actes Sud
ISBN  2742768939  
ISBN13  9782742768936  

Availability  0 units.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Art > Art History > Criticism
2Books > Subjects > Arts & Photography > Artists, A-Z > General
3Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Letters & Correspondence
4Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > World Literature > United States > History & Criticism > Literary Theory

Reviews - What do customers think about Sophie Calle: Take Care of Yourself?

more than a catalogue  May 31, 2008
Calle has said she's more comfortable working in the book format and it shows. Most glossy catalogues involve a couple of self-validating essays and a lot of images of the works in the show. This book is no less than the exhibition itself in book format.

The format of the exhibition (107 documents, transcripts and photographic portraits) is entirely replicated here, with very strong attention to detail, including various grades of paper as suits the needs of the text/image. The English version is especially handy as the transcripts also act as translation, without losing anything from the French documents. Also included are DVDs of every response that took the form of video. The cover is actually a rather glamorous shiny metallic pink, and not the matte colour in the picture. This is an expensive book but if you're interested in Calle, it's worth it, and rewards even someone who didn't get to see the exhibition.

And the work itself? I saw it a year ago and it was easily the most interesting thing at the Biennial. Calle, unable to fully take in a break-up email, sent it to 107 women to dissect, interpret, explain it for her according to their various professions. Those females include a lawyer, a journalist, a parrakeet, a teenager, a dancer, a markswoman, a comedienne, and a proofreader - each woman later photographed reading the letter in wonderful, luminous portraits. The cumulative effect is funny, pointed, sad, and basically fascinating. It's an attempt to understand breakups that we can all relate to - many people said it was too dogged, indulgent, too literal, but that basically is exactly why I like it. A consciously quixotic attempt to bring the mess of relationships somewhere into the rational, but you can't help feeling that along the way Calle's ex-lover got his comeuppance.
moving  Oct 26, 2007
I fully agree with E. Lindsay. The work by Sophie Calle was the most intense, moving and also the most brilliant of the Venice Biennale. The book gives an excellent impression.
Brilliant work  Sep 15, 2007
I saw this book (in French) at the Venice Biennale, after seeing the show the book is based on in the French Pavillion. The show was one of the most engaging works of art I've seen (stand-out for me at the event), and the book is a lush record of it. There were DVD's included in the one I saw in Venice. The work dissects a break up letter-real or fictional we are not sure. A number of women (and a hilarious cockatoo) give a personal response to the letter- some are written corrections and textual responses, others are engaging video performances which range from spaced out dancing,opera, kabuki or plain speaking in home environments. It was fascinating to watch as an installation- and for those unable to see the real thing, the book gives a close account. Recommend to anyone who is a fan of Calle's work.

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