Sophie Calle is a French writer, photographer, installation artist, and conceptual artist.
Her work is distinguished by its use of arbitrary sets of constraints, and evokes the French literary movement of the 1960s known as Oulipo. Her work frequently depicts human vulnerability, and examines identity and intimacy. She is recognized for her detective-like ability to follow strangers and investigate their private lives. Her photographic work often includes panels of text of her own writing.
In the process of secretly investigating, reconstructing or documenting strangers’ lives, Calle manipulates situations and individuals, and often adopts guises. Thus, in the act of pursuing a stranger to Venice, or taking the position of a hotel chamber maid to surreptitiously observe the guests, Calle conditions and recasts her own identity for that period of time. The documents or “evidence” that result from these conceptual projects are presented as photographs, photo-text installations and bookworks.
Calle‘s works often focus on the nature of desire, and on the relationships between the artist/observer and the objects of her investigations.