Sophie Calle on turning her life into art

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When a boyfriend broke-up with her by email, French artist Sophie Calle asked 107 women to read the letter and to analyse it according to their professional interest. It was set to music, re-ordered by a crossword-setter, performed by an actress, and probed by a forensic psychiatrist, amongst others. The resulting artwork called Take care of yourself (after the boyfriend’s parting words) fills the French Pavilion at the Biennale. Another example of Calle’s ability to create art from the intimate and painful details of her life is also being shown in Venice. It takes the form of a film recording the dying moments of her mother, while in an adjacent space a statement on the wall explains that on the day that Calle was invited to represent France at the Biennale, she learned that her mother was terminally ill. Calle spoke to TateShots about her work.