Parisian artist Sophie Calle is probably the only person to have slept at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Or rather not. For her work Room with a View she set up a bed on the Eiffel Tower and invited people to come and tell her stories to stop her from sleeping.
Calle’s art work intersects with games, play, ritual and chance. The imposition of arbitrary rules (such as eating a monochrome meal each day*) or the launching of a random quest (such as pursuing a stranger on a trip to Venice**) provide both the starting point and methodology of her art work.
Double Game is a compilation that merges fact and fiction; the American writer Paul Auster used a number of Calle’s projects to form the basis of a character in his novel Leviathan, and then embellished them. In Double Game Calle reproduces those projects and also undertakes the projects ascribed to Auster’s character Maria… The result is at times delightful and whimsical but there’s also a dark, underhand and ruthless undercurrent whereby people are turned into objects by the game.
As well as being quite a beautiful volume, some of Calle’s projects may give you some interesting ideas about how to explore Paris. If in doubt, just follow a stranger and see where the journey leads you…
Double Game by Sophie Calle, for further details or purchase see Violette Editions.
In Paris Sophie Calle is represented by Galerie Perrotin.
*The Chromatic Diet: Calle’s work based on the habits of Auster’s character Maria
** Suite Vénitienne: Calle’s work that Auster ascribed to Maria