Original text of the work
Dear Sophie, I recently heard about the deaths of your cat and your father, and I just wanted to let you know I was thinking about you. M.
Souris is the name that I will have repeated most often in my life. I still catch myself whispering it at night. His preferred territory was the space between my two pillows. There, in that void, that stillness where he used to breathe, I feel his absence most keenly. After our fathers die, we don’t sleep with their ghosts in our beds.
Translation of the work in French
Chère Sophie, j'ai appris récemment la mort de votre chat et celle de votre père, et je voulais simplement vous dire que je pense à vous. M.
Souris est le nom que j'aurai prononcé le plus souvent dans ma vie et qu'il m'arrive encore de chuchoter la nuit. Le territoire favori de Souris était l'espace entre mes deux oreillers. Ce vide sans respiration, c'est là que le manque est le plus criant. Après sa disparition, on ne dort pas avec le fantôme de son père dans son lit.
Since 1988, Sophie Calle has been enriching an ongoing series called Autobiographies. Each work of this series is composed of a picture and a text, presented under the form of framed pieces, wooden boxes or light boxes. Through her photographs and writings, she cultivates contrasts between a cold technical representation and an intimate but distanced content. Gathered in a book entitled True Stories, this series displays a compilation of fragments of Sophie Calle’s life, thus enrolling the viewer into a game in which his position oscillates between that of the voyeur and that of the detective.
Autobiographies inevitably raises the question of the heuristic scope of an accumulation of texts and images, a topic the artist explored in other series evoking pastiche documentary or inquiry work, such as The Hotel, a series revealing the content of guests’ rooms in a venetian hotel. Indissociably weaving together facts and fictions about her own life in Autobiographies, the artist takes on the roles of narrator and agent in this piece of visual literature. This blurring of the boundaries between the author and its subject lies at the heart of Sophie Calle’s artistic process.
- Seoul Photo Festival, Seoul Museum of Contemporary Art, Samcheong-dong, Corée du Sud, 2020
- Dead End, Château Lacoste, Le Puy-Sainte-Réparade, France, 2018
- Beau doublé, Monsieur le marquis ! Sophie Calle et son invitée Serena Carone, Musée de la Chasse, Paris, France, 2017