Country France

Discipline Visual arts

Recomended for General Audience

Language Spanish / English with Spanish subtitles

Dates January 3-30

I got an email telling me it was all over.
I didn’t know what to reply.

It was almost as if it wasn’t meant for me.

It ended with the words ‘Take care’.

So I did.

Chosen because of their jobs or skills, I asked 107 women to interpret this letter.
To analyze it, comment on it, dance it, sing it.

To exhaust its possibilities. To understand it for me. To answer it for me. It was a way of giving myself time to break up.
A way of looking after myself.

Cuídese mucho is an artistic installation triggered by a break-up email Sophie Calle received from an old boyfriend. Made up of 107 different interpretations from women from all walks of life, careers and jobs, each one provides a different point of view through writing, drawing, song, dance or performance. These elements are accompanied by photographs of the participants taken by Sophie Calle. As well as a philosopher, magician, policewoman, crossword enthusiast and judge, certain famous women also took part, such as composer Laurie Anderson, actresses Jeanne Moreau and Victoria Abril and singer Christina Rosenvinge. A virtual chorus of feminine power, this is an attempt to come together to understand human relationships, love and angst, gender and privacy and work and identity.

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© Jean-Baptiste Mondino.

Artist

Sophie Calle

(Paris, 1953)

Sophie Calle is one of the most important French creators on the worldwide contemporary arts scene. An artist, writer, photographer and director, Calle began her career in the seventies. For nearly 40 years, she has explored the relationship between art and life, putting her privacy and that of others at the center of her work. She has written several books and her exhibitions have been shown at some of the most important museums and galleries in the world, such as the Pompidou Center and the Tate Gallery. In 2007, she represented France at the Venice Biennale with Cuídese mucho.

Created by Sophie Calle. ADAGP, Paris 2019. Courtesy of Perrotin. Produced by ARTER

  • Sophie Calle has emerged as one of the most important artists of the last few decades, creating works that are both moving and ground-breaking. Calle mainly uses photography and the written word as the basis for fusing privacy and performance. Several of her works have inspired writers such as Paul Auster and Enrique Vila-Matas and her questioning of identity, voyeurism and surveillance is nowadays more relevant and provocative than ever.

  • This is Sophie Calle’s first stand-alone exhibition in Chile. In 2009, she showed La Filiature as part of a selection of the best of the Sao Paulo Biennale at the MAC in Quinta Normal.

  • Sophie Calle depicts breaking up with art: by asking 107 women to read her ex-boyfriend’s email, the artist creates a polyphonic exhibition; a kind of chorus of feminine voices that makes her pain their own. This piece is an intelligent way of giving women a voice and of questioning their normally passive role in romantic relationships.

  • With Cuídese mucho, the French artist wanted the hundred or so women chosen to interpret her ex-boyfriend’s words from a professional standpoint. That’s why the women come a wide range of disciplines, representing all different kinds of professions - from an Indian dancer, an expert in medieval history and a sexologist to a headhunter and a psychic.

  • After making its debut at the Venice Biennale in 2007, Prenez soin de vous [Cuídese mucho] was exhibited at the French National Library and at around 20 museums worldwide, including the Tamayo Museum, the CCK in Buenos Aire and the Whitechapel Gallery in London.

  • In 2010, Sophie Calle won the Hasselblad Award for Photography, one of the sector’s most prestigious awards. It has also been won by important artists such as Robert Frank, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Joan Fontcuberta, Nan Goldin, Cindy Sherman and Irvin Penn.
  • Contemporary art. Sophie Calle’s piece joins that of artists who have explored their own life stories, privacy and life lessons, blurring the lines between what is private and what is public and turning themselves, their images and experiences into works of art. Fiction and reality blend together in their projects. “My work is based on privacy but never reveals all. What you see is just the part I’ve decided to tell”, she has said.

  • Artistic installation. This is a genre of contemporary art in which ideas take precedence over formalities. In other words, the staging and shape the piece takes on are used to convey the specific concept the artist wants to explore. To do so, objects are used, spaces taken over and elements arranged - from a never-ending list of physical, visual or sound-related media, such as photography, video or performance - to make the audience reflect on certain things or feel certain emotions.

  • A legendary artist. Several of Sophie Calle’s pieces have staked a place in art history, including Les Dormeurs (1979), in which she invited around 20 strangers and friends to share her bed; L'Hôtel (1981), in which she worked as a chambermaid at a hotel in Venice to research and portray travelers’ belongings and habits and La Filature (1981), in which she hired a private detective to follow her around, comparing his report to her own experiences. In 2003, the Pompidou Center dedicated a significant exhibition to her career, which began in 1979.

  • Literature and film. In 1992, the North American novelist, Paul Auster, based the character Maria in Leviathan on Sophie Calle. The artist subsequently suggested he do the opposite – create a fictitious character that she would try and resemble, an experiment that ended up featuring in the Gotham Handbook (1994). In 2016, she came to a similar arrangement with Spanish author Enrique Vila-Matas: he wrote about her life for a year and she lived it as he dictated. This became the book Porque ella no lo pidió. Calle has also ventured into film - in 1992, she filmed No Sex Last Night, documenting her journey through the United States with photographer Greg Shephard.

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