Talking to Strangers. Calle invited 107 women from a ballerina to a lawyer to use their professional skills to interpret an email in which her partner breaks up with her. The result forms a large-scale installation that transcends the personal to provide a monument to the women involved. The exhibition continues with earlier works and an anthology of key texts about Calle's work. Inci Eviner's film, Harem, 2009 is based on a series of early 19th century engravings by German artist Antoine Ignace Melling, who was invited by Sultan Selim the Third to chronicle the court and city of Constantinople.
Sophie Calle: Talking to Strangers
Acclaimed for her photographic and film installations, Sophie Calle’s work reports on encounters and situations that she sets in motion. Whether asking strangers to sleep in her bed, or inviting an author to take charge of her destiny, she documents social interactions that require a pact of complete trust. This exhibition brings together major works from the 1980s to the present.
Born in Paris in 1953, Calle began taking photographs and making notes as she followed strangers on the streets in 1979. Image and text, presented in compelling narratives, have since formed the basis of her work. Poised between private and collective experience, they allude to journalism, anthropology and psychoanalysis, as well as to literature, the diary and the photo novel.
The exhibition premieres the English language version of Prenez soin de vous (Take Care of Yourself), a highlight of the 2007 Venice Biennale. Calle invited 107 women from a ballerina to a lawyer to use their professional skills to interpret an email in which her partner breaks up with her. The poignant, amusing and poetic result forms a large-scale installation that transcends the personal to provide a monument to the women involved.
The exhibition continues with earlier works including The Bronx, 1980, where Calle asked residents of the south Bronx in New York to take her to a place of their choice, and her collaboration with American novelist Paul Auster in 1994, where she becomes one of his fictional characters. The exhibition is accompanied by an indispensable anthology of key texts about Calle’s work, co-published with Violette Editions.
Sophie Calle is organised in collaboration with the De Pont Museum of Contemporary Art, Tilburg.
Inci Eviner’s film, Harem, 2009 is based on a series of early 19th century engravings by German artist Antoine Ignace Melling, who was invited by Sultan Selim the Third to chronicle the court and city of Constantinople. Eviner replaces the original figures with animations of women performing repetitive, mundane actions. Shown on a continuous loop the film challenges the Western perception of the harem as a place of sexual intrigue and subjugation with an alternative view of it as a place where women are the active subjects.
After studying in Istanbul in the 1980s Eviner exhibited widely in Europe, Asia and the US. She is known for her intricate drawings combining a finely balanced sense for ornament with hybrid human characters. Of her often disturbing narratives she says: ‘I imagine myself as one of those old-time storytellers–a storyteller, however, who cannot control the story and is eventually swallowed by it.’
This exhibition is part of Art in the Auditorium, a collaborative project organised by the Whitechapel Gallery with institutions from Europe, Asia, South America and the USA to provide an international showcase for the work of some of the most exciting young artists working with film, video and animation today. Inci Eviner was selected by Istanbul Modern in collaboration with the Institute for the Re-adjustment of Clocks.
Image: Inci Eviner
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