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Sophie Calle at the Whitechapel Gallery

PUBLISHED: 11:00 24 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:07 05 October 2010

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www.benbroomfield.com

STARS turned out for the gala opening of a retrospective exhibition of French artist Sophie Calle s work at the Whitechapel Gallery last week. Hoxton-based musician and former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker attended the glitzy event at the Whitechapel High S

STARS turned out for the gala opening of a retrospective exhibition of French artist Sophie Calle's work at the Whitechapel Gallery last week.

Hoxton-based musician and former Pulp frontman Jarvis Cocker attended the glitzy event at the Whitechapel High Street gallery, along with actress Miranda Richardson, editor in chief of Elle magazine and fashion designer Richard Nicholl while art fans queued along the street to get a glimpse of the show when it opened to non-VIP guests later in the evening.

The exhibition brings together 12 key works from the late 1970s to the present, including the acclaimed 2007 installation Prenez Soin De Vous (Take Care of Yourself).

Calle began taking photographs of strangers on the streets of Paris in 1979. Her works are presented in a pared down, objectivist manner that alludes to the disciplines of journalism, anthropology or psychoanalysis.

The exhibition premieres the English language version of Prenez Soin De Vous which the artist first exhibited at the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2007.

The large-scale, multi-media installation, which occupies the entire ground floor of the gallery, takes its starting point as an email in which her partner informed the artist that he was leaving her.

The exhibition continues in the upstairs galleries with an overview of earlier work. It includes The Sleepers, 1979, in which the artist invited 29 strangers to sleep in her bed.

Sophie Calle's retrospective is on at the Whitechapel Gallery until January 3 next year. Admission is free.

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