Combining retrospective elements with a series of new work, this major exhibition explored the interplay between fact and fiction.
Sophie Calle’s work arose from her response to New York author Paul Auster’s novel Leviathan which features a character, Maria, based on Calle. In one group of work, Calle carried out a number of Maria’s fictional projects, including The Chromatic Diet which involved restricting herself to foods of a single colour each day for a week. Another group represented existing works by Calle which Auster ‘borrowed’ for his fictional artists. Amongst these was a re-working with sound of Suite vénitienne (a piece documenting Calle’s detective-like pursuit of a casual acquaintance). The third group of work, Gotham Handbook, documented Calle’s attempts to ‘become’ a fictional character, by following instructions on ‘how to improve life in New York City’, written for her by Paul Auster at her request.
Sophie Calle lives and works in Paris and has exhibited internationally since the late 1970s, most recently at the ARTNOW Room at the Tate Gallery, London and the Centre National de la Photographie, Paris, both in 1998.