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Sophie Calle: My mother, my cat, my father, in that order

FraenkelLAB is pleased to present Sophie Calle: My mother, my cat, my father, in that order from June 23–September 9, 2017. This is the artist’s third exhibition with Fraenkel Gallery/FraenkelLAB, and it will feature works from her series Autobiographies, which pair short autobiographical texts and photographs.

My mother, my cat, my father, in that order follows upon the deaths of Calle’s aforementioned loved ones, examining loss and absence from the artist’s characteristically unsentimental perspective. Several of Calle’s Autobiographies are inspired by her own and her mother’s diaries, such as this text from Autobiographies (My Mother Died):

On December 27, 1986, my mother wrote in
Her diary: “My mother died today.”
On March 15, 2006, in turn, I wrote in mine:
“My mother died today.”
No one will say this about me.
The end.

While she may start from autobiographical sources, Calle is known for her work blending reality and fiction, documentary and invention, creating her own genre of visual and written storytelling. She has commented: “I like rituals, to make games, not only in my work but my life…I took this from [my mother].” Calle often uses events from her life as a jumping-off point to explore intimate relationships and familial bonds in her own mischievous and subversive style.

The Autobiographies series combines the artist’s sly, sardonic sense of visual humor with stories that are too peculiar to have been invented. As with much of her work, Calle’s unique form of autobiography can be seen as a form of performance. Forgoing a sense of nostalgia, the artist puts seemingly private events into the public eye, recounting emotional parent-child interactions that are seldom described.

My mother, my cat, my father, in that order coincides with the exhibition Sophie Calle: Missing, curated by Ars Citizen, to be presented at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture, San Francisco, June 29–August 20, 2017.

Sophie Calle (b. Paris, France, 1953) uses the mediums of photography, video, film, books, text, and performance to pursue her sociological and psychological investigations. In 2017, Calle was shortlisted for the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize for My All (Actes Sud, 2016), a retrospective book of postcards documenting the artist’s 54 projects to date. She also has been honored with an Infinity Award from the ICP, New York (2017) and The Hasselblad Award (2010).

In the 2007 Venice Biennale, Calle represented France with the exhibition Take Care of Yourself, which subsequently traveled to museums in ten countries and was accompanied by a major publication. Among Calle’s many other acclaimed photobooks are Suite Vénitienne, Double Game, The Address Book, and True Stories (2016), which features several of the Autobiographies in the FraenkelLAB exhibition.

FraenkelLAB, opened in April 2016 and spearheaded by Frish Brandt and Jeffrey Fraenkel, is Fraenkel Gallery’s venue for adventurous artwork from any era and in any medium. Follow @fraenkelLAB on Instagram for the latest news about upcoming events at FraenkelLAB.