Summer 2017– Ars Citizen initiated and curates a major exhibition of the French conceptual artist Sophie Calle (b. 1953, Paris) to be presented by Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture on the San Francisco waterfront from June 29 to August 20, 2017. Titled Missing, this is the largest exhibition of the internationally acclaimed artist in the US. A series of collateral programs as partnerships between Ars Citizen and various organizations will take place across the Bay Area: Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, FraenkelLab, City Lights Bookstore, and The Roxie Theatre.
These events deepen and extend the special relationship between Sophie Calle and the Bay Area, the region where the artist’s career began in the late 1970’s. They also mark the first milestone in a longer‐term commitment undertaken by Ars Citizen with the artist.
The project has received the generous support from Fort Mason Centre for Arts & Culture, the National Endowment for the Arts, Grants for the Arts, Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein, The Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the US, The Consulate General of France in San Francisco, Fraenkel Gallery, Paula Cooper Gallery, Galerie Perrotin, UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, City Lights Bookstore, Roxie Theatre, Eleanor Coppola and Francis Ford Coppola Winery, and Paxton Gate.+ +
SOPHIE CALLE MISSING, A MULTI-VENUE EXHIBITION ACROSS FORT MASON CENTER FOR ARTS & CULTURE CAMPUS ON THE SAN FRANCISCO WATERFRONT, June 29 – August 20, 2017
Missing gathers for the first time in the United States and in significant conditions five of Sophie Calle’s major projects: Rachel Monique (2007-2014), Take Care of Yourself (2004-2007), True Stories (1988-...), The Last Image (2010), and Voir la mer (2011). While unveiling a narrative of intimate stories, both personal and collective, the corpus offers a thoughtful survey of Calle’s art since the 1980’s and includes her most iconic projects spanning the last decade.
The exhibition takes a comprehensive approach to Calle’s work and recurring exploration, reflecting on absence and its relationship with other themes: disappearance, rupture, abandonment, loss, the absence in the presence... Concepts that are both challenging and universal, affecting each of us. This is certainly why Sophie Calle’s work and character continue to fascinate, amaze, disturb and inspire.
Presented in a site-responsive journey across the historic and picturesque campus of Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, Missing intertwines the ideas of ‘mother’ and ‘sea’ (the homophones ‘mère’ and ‘mer’, respectively, in French), and invests a diversity of locations: the Chapel, the General's Residence, Gallery 308, and the Firehouse with its iconic views on the Bay and Golden Gate Bridge.
Sophie Calle’s works has been itinerant since their inception and elaborated by building up a vast system of echoes and internal references, allowing them to be read as connected chapters of a unified whole.
Missing projects as described by the artist:
Rachel Monique, 2007-2014
Location: Fort Mason historic Chapel
“She was successively called Rachel, Monique, Szyndler, Calle, Pagliero, Gonthier, Sindler. My mother liked to be the object of discussion. Her life did not appear in my work, and that annoyed her. When I set up my camera at the foot of the bed where she was dying – I wanted to be present to hear her last words, and was afraid that she would pass away in my absence – she exclaimed, “At Last!”
Take Care of Yourself, 2004-2007
Location: Gallery 308
“I received an email telling me it was over. I didn’t know how to respond. It was almost as if it hadn’t been meant for me. It ended with the words: “Take care of yourself.” And so I did. I asked 107 women, chosen for their profession or skills, to interpret this letter. To analyze it, comment on it, dance it, sing it. Dissect it. Exhaust it. Understand it for me. Answer for me. It was a way of taking the time to break up. A way to taking care of myself.”
True Stories, 1988-present
Location: the General’s Residence “Several objects that hold a sentimental place in my life, and that I have used for my autobiographical narratives.”
The Last Image, 2010
Location: the Firehouse
“I went to Istanbul. I spoke to blind people, most of whom had lost their sight suddenly. I asked them to describe the last thing they saw.”
Voir la mer, 2011
Location: the Firehouse
“In Istanbul, a city surrounded by the sea, I met people who had never seen it. I filmed their first time. I took them to the Black Sea. They came to the water's edge, separately, eyes lowered, closed or masked. I was behind them. I asked them to look out to the sea and then to turn back towards me to show me these eyes that had just seen the sea for the first time.”
Director of photography: Caroline Champetier
Artist Talk and Opening Reception
Wednesday, June 28
Cowell Theater, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture
5−6 p.m. Artist talk
6−8 p.m. Preview and Opening Reception
Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture presents an evening of conversation with Sophie Calle introduced by Evelyne Jouanno, Curator and Director of Ars Citizen.
For complimentary tickets and more information, please visit fortmason.org/missing.
About Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture A decommissioned military installation converted into a nonprofit cultural center in 1977, Fort Mason Center for Arts ∓ Culture has long been host to a lively mix of arts, educational and cultural programming. Each year, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture provides over $2 million in support to local arts organizations, enabling groups to produce diverse and innovative art works at the historic waterfront campus. With a nearly four-decade history as an arts and culture destination, Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture is now focused on reinvigorating its programming and amenities to better engage the evolving and dynamic Bay Area creative community. Central to this new vision is the commissioning and presentation of adventurous and unconventional art works best realized in nontraditional or historic settings. Visit fortmason.org for more information.
In concert with Missing, Ars Citizen is curating parallel programs in partnership with leading Bay Area institutions.
Film Screening and Q&A with Sophie Calle, University of California, Berkeley, Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA), Thursday, June 22, 7 p.m.
2155 Center St., Berkeley
The University of California, Berkeley, Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAMPFA) presents screenings No Sex Last Night (1992) and Untitled (2012), followed by a Q&A with Calle and BAMPFA director Larry Rinder.
For tickets and more information, visit bampfa.berkeley.edu/event/evening-sophie-calle
SOPHIE CALLE: My mother, my cat, my father, in that order, FraenkelLab, Friday, June 23−August 26, Opening reception: Friday, June 23, 5:30−7:30 p.m.
1632 Market St., San Francisco
An exhibition which “follows upon the deaths of Calle’s aforementioned loved ones, examining loss and absence from the artist’s characteristically unsentimental perspective.”
For more information, visit fraenkelgallery.com/exhibitions/my-mother-my-cat
Book Signing with Sophie Calle, City Lights Bookstore, Sunday, June 25, 6−8 p.m.
261 Columbus Ave., San Francisco
Join Calle for an intimate event at the acclaimed bookseller.
For more information, visit www.citylights.com/info/?fa=event&event_id=2957
Film Screening – Sophie Calle: an Anthology, Roxie Theatre, Monday, July 3rd, 6.30p.m.
3117 16th St., San Francisco
The Roxie presents an anthology of Sophie Calle with her film No Sex Last Night (1992), and two documentaries about the artist: Contacts (1997), and Untitled, (2012).
For tickets and more information, visit roxie.com/ai1ec_event/sophie-calle-anthology
About the films proposed for the screenings at BAMPFA and Roxie Theatre:
No Sex Last Night, 1992, 117’, a road movie across the United States by and with Sophie Calle and Greg Shephard before getting married at a drive-in window in Las Vegas.
Contacts, 1997, 12’36, a documentary by Jean-Pierre Krief about Sophie Calle’s early career. With the voice over of Sophie Calle unveiling and commenting her contact sheets.
Untitled, 2012, 52’, a documentary by Victoria Clay Mendoza on Sophie Calle that includes the purchase of a gravesite in the cemetery of Bolinas where she took her first photographs in the late 1970’s.
The French conceptual artist Sophie Calle (b. Paris 1953, lives and works in Malakoﬀ, France) has exhibited extensively around the world since the late 1970’s. Over the course of a nearly forty-year career, she has produced a singular body of work merging image and text, and revealing a narrative approach that blurs the frontiers between the intimate and public, fact and ﬁction, art and life. Her art and exploration embrace the universal and challenging concept of absence. Highly autobiographical, her projects are often the aftermath or continuation of scenarios, rituals, and rules she carefully sets up and orchestrates.
Sophie Calle has exhibited at leading international museums including in the United States at the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim Museum in New York. A retrospective of her work premiered at the Centre George Pompidou in Paris in 2003, and toured to museums in Berlin and Dublin. In 2007, she was the oﬃcial representative of France at the 52nd Venice Biennale. Sophie Calle was the recipient of the 2010 Hasselblad Award for photography and the 2017 ICP Inﬁnity Award.
Sophie Calle is represented by Gallery Paula Cooper, Fraenkel Gallery, and Galerie Perrotin.
Sophie Calle and the San Francisco Bay Area
Sophie Calle Missing and the related programming add a new chapter to Sophie Calle’s special relationship with the San Francisco Bay Area.
In the early 1970's, Calle leaves France for a long journey around the world. It was during a stay in 1978 in the small community of poets and artists in Bolinas north of San Francisco, that she took her first photographs "without vocation": tombs in the cemetery reading the inscription "Father" and "Mother". She then discovered what could "please her father". On her return to Paris, she began her first spinning mills of unknown people in the streets or invited friends and strangers to sleep in her bed to methodically record the results in notebooks containing photographs and texts... Marking the beginnings of Sophie Calle as an artist, these series are now part of the great history of contemporary art.
Calle’s relationship with California and the United States has never stopped. From the early 1980’s onwards, her work has been widely exhibited in American galleries and museums while Calle successfully created site‐related projects like Los Angeles (1984), No Sex Last Night (1992), and Journey to California (2003).
More recently, the artist acquired a burial plot in the Bolinas graveyard where she took her ﬁrst photographs.
1. "La Dernière Image. Aveugle au lever de soleil" / "The Last
Image. Blind with sunrise", 2010
A color photograph under plexiglass cover (66 x 82 cm), a color photograph with metal frame (25 x 31 cm), a text with metal frame (30 x 21,5 cm)
115 x 82 cm / 45 1/4 x 32 1/4 inches
© Sophie Calle / Adagp, Paris & ARS, New York, 2017, Courtesy
Paula Cooper Gallery, Fraenkel Gallery and Galerie Perrotin
2. “Rachel Monique. Couldn’t Capture Death” (detail), 2007
© Sophie Calle / Adagp, Paris & ARS, New York, 2017, Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, Fraenkel Gallery and Galerie Perrotin
3. "Voir la mer. 738 Woman”, 2011
1'59" digital film with color and sound, TV screen, framed color photograph
59 x 103 x 3 cm (screen), 33,5 x 52,5 x 2,5 cm (photograph) Cinematographer: Caroline Champetier
Photo : Margherita Borsano
© Sophie Calle / Adagp, Paris, 2017, Courtesy Paula Cooper Gallery, Fraenkel Gallery and Galerie Perrotin
5. still from No Sex Last Night (Double Blind), 1992
35mm film in French and English with English subtitles
© 2017 Sophie Calle / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Courtesy of Sophie
Calle and Paula Cooper Gallery, New York
6. Still from Untitled (Sans Titre)
Documentary film in HDCam, 16/9e, 52 minutes
Production : FOLAMOUR PRODUCTIONS
Copyrights : Folamour - 2012
7. "Take care of yourself. Proofreader, Valérie Lermite" / "Prenez soin de vous. Correctrice, Valérie Lermite" 2007 Color print, text, frame (x2) / Photographie couleur, texte, encadrement (x2) © Sophie Calle / ADAGP, Paris & ARS, New York, 2017 Courtesy Perrotin, Paula Cooper Gallery and Fraenkel Gallery
8, 11, 13. Images and Maps of Fort Mason Project