How Suite It Is: Sophie Calle Makes an Artwork Out of a Hotel Room

Sophie Calle.

The Lowell Hotel, situated rather inconspicuously on the stately block of East 63rd Street that stretches between Madison and Park, is filled with antiques and orchids. Its rooms, to which guests ascend in a tiny, black-walled elevator, have fireplaces and terraces. As its general manager, Ashish Verma, took care to remind The Observer, it is often referred to as “a jewel of Manhattan.”

Beginning at the end of the day on Thursday, at midnight, there will be an unusual guest staying in one of the Lowell’s best-appointed suites. With its plush furniture and carpeting, space is at once cozy and spacious; it runs about $1,850 a night. The guest is an artwork called Room, an installation by the French artist Sophie Calle.

Room will fill the hotel suite with dozens of objects, including a bathrobe and a coffee cup, dice and a Polaroid camera. “What I am bringing is more or less a suitcase,” Ms. Calle, who turned 58 on Sunday, told us last week, sounding like any other smart, efficient traveler to New York. She was speaking to us over the phone from Paris, where she lives. Like any other smart, efficient traveler, she is shipping her more cumbersome objects in advance. One of them is a wedding dress. Read More