Sophie Calle

Desire Unbound: Following Strangers

For months I followed strangers on the street. For the pleasure of following them, not because they particularly interested me’’.1

Calle’s art practice, passionately exploring the boundaries between the private and the public through transgression, is perhaps even more pertinent today, when we access other people’s private lives with ease through social media whilst at the same time we are subjected to observation through various forms of state-sanctioned mass surveillance. Surveillance as performance is the building material of her early works, such as The Sleepers (1979); The Shadow (1981); and most famously, The Hotel (1981).

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Fotograf Magazine #30

Suite Vénitienne 1980, photo © Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris & DACS, London, courtesy of Perrotin, 2017
Suite Vénitienne 1980, photo © Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris & DACS, London, courtesy of Perrotin, 2017
Suite Vénitienne 1980, photo © Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris & DACS, London, courtesy of Perrotin, 2017
Suite Vénitienne 1980, photo © Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris & DACS, London, courtesy of Perrotin, 2017
Suite Vénitienne 1980, photo © Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris & DACS, London, courtesy of Perrotin, 2017
Suite Vénitienne 1980, photo © Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris & DACS, London, courtesy of Perrotin, 2017