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Prenez soin de vous – a new Sophie Calle exhibition at the BNF

Art and Culture

The artist, photographer, writer and filmmaker has been using the experiences of her life as the inspiration for her work for over thirty years now. This latest exhibition is based on an e-mail she received from a male friend, telling her that their relationship was over. His last words were « look after yourself » (prenez soin de vous)…
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photo : Jean-Baptiste Mondino


In 2007, Sophie Calle published a book called « Prenez soin de vous » and asked 107 women to interpret this text. « I received a breakup e-mail, and I didn’t how how to reply. It was as if it wasn’t addressed to me. The last words were « look after yourself » so this is exactly what I decided to do. I asked 107 women – including one made of feathers and two made of wood – chosen because of their work and their talent, to interpret the letter from a professional viewpoint. I wanted them to analyse it, give their comments, act it, dance it, sing it. Dissect it, scrutinise every possible part of it. Understand for me. Reply instead of me. It was a way to take the time I needed for the breakup. At my own pace. Looking after myself. »

Initially presented at the Venice Biennale in 2007, the exhibition was also published as an art book with photographs, texts and four DVDs of performances. The exhibition will be recreated in the prestigious (and beautiful) Salle Labrouste of the BNF (National Library).
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Here’s all the essential information for the Sophie Calle exhibition Prenez soin de vous at the BNF

When: 26th March – 8th June 2008
Where: BNF (Bibliothèque nationale de France), Richelieu site, 58 rue Richelieu, Paris 2nd arrondissement. Métro Bourse or Quatre-Septembre (line 3) or Pyramides (lines 7 & 14)
Opening hours: Tuesday – Saturday 10am-8pm (late night opening til 10pm on Thursdays). Sundays from midday – 8pm. Closed Mondays and 1st May
Entrance fee: Adults 7 euros, concessions 5 euros
More info: www.bnf.fr


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