When Sophie Calle Took Her Projects Too Far

She investigated everyone whose name appeared in an address book she found in the street, got married in Vegas during a film project and invited strangers to sleep in her empty bed. Sophie Calle, whose art career turns 40 this year, talks about what inspires her now that the world resembles one of her works

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Sophie Calle
Sophie Calle. “When I’m going through a good moment, I let it blossom. I don’t touch it. When it hurts, I photograph and I film, because I need to distance myself.”Credit: Yuval Ben-Ami
Yuval Ben-Ami

Le Cailar, FRANCE – One evening in 2014, the message on one of the electronic signs hanging above a toll road west of Paris suddenly changed. Instead of a warning like “Roadworks ahead,” the little lights signaled, “Where would you take me?” And the next sign along the road announced, “I am waiting for you in toll booth #7.”

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