On the occasion of the exhibit that she's presenting in Venice's Biennial, a conversation with artist Sophie Calle. She made her personal life the central theme of her work, and discusses herself while staging her life through installations that mix pictures, videos, texts and objects.
A human life possesses enough emotions, strong ordinary, to be a complete work of art itself: this is the principal at the heart of Sophie Calle's artistic production, who, since the end of the 1970s, transformed her life and her intimacy into works of art shown throughout the world.
In 1981, this French artist, born in 1953, chose to be filmed by a private detective (La Filature). In 1983 she wrote the portraits of people whose names appeared in a found address book (Le Carnet d'Addresses). In 2002, she set up a bedroom on top of the Eiffel Tower, talking to the visitors (Chambre avec vue)... Sophie Calle uses any kind of format (video, photography, text, performance...) to show less of the author than of the subject of her works... and finally manages to reach universal values. If the exhibition Prenez soin de vous presented at the Venice biennial in June 2007 (and again at the French National library the following year) was inspired by a difficult emotional breakup for the artist, the experience of this pain is first seen through the regard of 107 different women, selected for their professional profile, to make up the event. In this way the subject becomes multiple and the personal life of Sophie Calle is seen offered to the public as a laboratory for reflection on daily life and intimacy.
Through the success of Sophie Calle, the subjectivity of the artist has been imposed as the undeniable theme of contemporary art, in phase with the evolution of contemporary society, abound with images and pushing back the boundaries of public and private.