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Sophie Calle

Suite Vénitienne (1980-1994) is one of the key works from the early career of French artist Sophie Calle (b. 1953, Paris). The work shows the discreet pursuit in Venice of a man the artist barely knows, documented through numerous photographs meant to support the veracity of the narrative. This narrative was decisive for Calle’s work, which would later be classified among the “Individual Mythologies” alongside those of artists like Christian Boltanski and Jean le Gac. The daughter of an art collector, Calle began taking photographs in 1978 on her return to Paris after having travelled around the world. She immediately associated the image to the text in a continuous game of fiction meets autobiography that was to become her trademark. In February 1979, she undertook the journey for Suite Vénitienne, a project she dates however as being from 1980, the year when she published it as a book. Later, in 1994, Calle turned it into a photographic series. The pursuit of the man in the city is a game of seduction from a distance, as much for the stranger as for the visitor. The combination of blurred images that appear to be taken covertly, maps indicating the itineraries of the pursuit, and texts written in the manner of detective notes combined with personal impressions, contributes to the narrative suspense and appeals to the imagination of those willing to lose themselves in the tale.


  1. Sophie Calle Suite Vénitienne, 1980–1994

    55 photographies noir et blanc, 3 plans de ville, 23 textes
    App. 1500 cm
    Collection Mudam Luxembourg
    Acquistion 1997
    Apport FOCUNA
    © Photo : galerie Erna Hécey

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