Artist Sophie Calle will be in New York on Nov. 7 to sign copies of The Address Book, one of her infamous early works. The book compiles a series of essays Ms. Calle wrote in 1983 for the French paper Liberation, based on an address book she found in the streets of Paris. Rather than return the book to its owner, one Pierre D., she called his contacts and asked them about him with the object of “[getting] to know him through his friends and acquaintances.” The Address Book, now being published for the first time in its entirety in English by Siglio Press, is set to be released on Oct. 31. [Update: Wed. Nov. 7, 4:30 p.m.] This event has been rescheduled and will now take place on Saturday Nov. 10 at 6 p.m.
Over at The New Yorker‘s Page-Turner blog, there’s an excerpt of Sophie Calle’s Address Book, which was published serially in the French newspaper Libération in 1983 and has appeared in English for the first time thanks to the publisher Siglio. (We wrote about the book here a while back.)
Who would have thought that French artist Sophie Calle got her start in the Bronx? It seems like the stuff of legend. But as per Monica Espinel, the curator of “Urban Archives: The Rituals of Chaos,” an exhibition that opened recently at the Bronx Museum, Ms. Calle’s first exhibition of work “made consciously as an artist” was for a group show in 1980 called “Une Idée en L’Air,” which took place at various galleries in New York, including the storied alternative space Fashion Moda in the South Bronx.
In this month’s issue of The Believer, writer Sheila Heti visits French artist Sophie Calle for a tête-à-tête during the run of Ms. Calle’s piece, Room, for which, during one weekend last October, the artist outfitted a room at the Lowell Hotel in New York with personal items like a burnt mattress, a red wedding dress and a stuffed cat, and then stopped in from time to time to inhabit it. Commissioned by The French Institute Alliance Française as part of its annual contemporary art festival Crossing the Line, this was the latest in a line of intensely personal works by the artist, who is known for doing things like setting up a bed for a night on the Eiffel Tower and inviting guests to read her bedtime stories (Room with a View, 2002).
The Brooklyn Rail has an amazing interview between art historians Rosalind Krauss and Yve-Alain Bois on the topic of Ms. Krauss’s new book, Under Blue Cup, which we wrote about back in October. It’s a big time for the art historian: her work is also the subject of a distinguished scholar session at the upcoming College Art Association conference in Los Angeles.
It’s a long interview, and the whole thing is worth reading, especially because it provides a glimpse at how the two thinkers and colleagues—they have worked together on the journal October, which Ms. Krauss helped found in the 1970s—have evolved over the years. (Full disclosure: this writer took a class with Ms. Krauss many years back.)
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.