Writer, photographer, director, artist


Sophie Calle is a unique and purposefully contentious French artist. She is a writer, photographer, director, installation artist, and conceptual artist of wide renown. For over thirty years her work has been about linking her personal life, including some of the most intimate moments of it, to her work. She has done this by using almost all mediums one can think of, including books, photos, videos, films, performances and more. In fact, in an interview Sophie Calle illustrates the point of the link between her life and her work as follows:

It's true that when I speak in public, everyone asks me about life and I always have to bring them back to the fact that it's a work of art. The difference with many of my works is the fact that they are also my life. They happened. This is what sets me apart and makes people strongly like or dislike what I do. It is also why I have a public beyond the art world. I don't care about truth; I care about art and style and writing and occupying the wall. For me, my writing style is very linked to the fact that it is a work of art on the wall. I had to find a way to write in concise, effective phrases that people standing or walking into a room could read.

Sophie Calle questions and challenges the relationship between text and photography, private and public personae, truth and fiction, in a groundbreaking, utterly original way. Her photographic work evokes narrative, affect and emotion, touching the viewer as well as the possibilities and limitations of photography.

Although much of her work employs voyeurism, Sophie Calle has allowed her own life to be put on display as well. She became so intrigued by following her unwitting subjects that she wanted to reverse the relationship and become the subject herself. She asked her mother to hire a private detective to follow her, without the detective knowing that she had arranged it, with the hopes that his investigation would provide photographic evidence of her existence.

Biography taken from: The European Graduate School 2012 Sophie Calle - Professor of Film - Biography [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.egs.edu/faculty/sophie-calle/biography/ [Accessed 04 March 2012]