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Whitechapel unveils Sophie Calle retrospective

PUBLISHED: 11:00 16 October 2009 | UPDATED: 15:04 05 October 2010

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LEADING French contemporary artist Sophie Calle will be the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Whitchapel Gallery. Sophie Calle s works are most frequently described in terms of shadowing and voyeurism, involving constructing identities and crea

LEADING French contemporary artist Sophie Calle will be the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Whitchapel Gallery.

Sophie Calle's works are most frequently described in terms of shadowing and voyeurism, involving constructing identities and creating complex scenarios that are then documented through photographs and texts.

The exhibition at the Whitechapel High Street gallery, which begins today (Friday) brings together 12 key works from the late 1970s to the present, including the acclaimed installation Prenez Soin De Vous (Take Care of Yourself), 2007.

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.

They works also make use of literary devices, as well as everyday forms such as the diary and the photo novel.

The exhibition will premiere 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 will occupy the entire ground floor Gallery 1, takes as its starting point 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 ncludes 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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