Sophie CalleThe Hotel, Room 47 1981

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Artwork details

Sophie Calle (born 1953)
The Hotel, Room 47
L'Hôtel, Chambre 47
Date 1981
Medium2 works on paper, photographs and ink
Dimensionsdisplayed: 2140 x 1420 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Patrons of New Art through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1999
Not on display


This is a two-part framed work comprising photographs and text. In the upper part, the title Room 47 is printed below a colour photograph of elegantly carved wooden twin head-boards behind a bed covered in rich brown satin. Below it, three columns of italic text are diary entries describing findings in the hotel room between Sunday 22 February 1981 and Tuesday 24. In the lower frame a grid of nine black and white photographs show things listed in the text above. This work is part of a project titled The Hotel, which the artist has defined:

On Monday, February 16, 1981, I was hired as a temporary chambermaid for three weeks in a Venetian hotel. I was assigned twelve bedrooms on the fourth floor. In the course of my cleaning duties, I examined the personal belongings of the hotel guests and observed through details lives which remained unknown to me. On Friday, March 6, the job came to an end. (Quoted in Calle, pp.140-1… (read more)

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