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Sophie Calle: Take Care of Yourself Nov Har/Dv Edition

5 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-2742768936
ISBN-10: 2742768939
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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sophie Calle was born in Paris in 1953. Since the 1980s, her installations have received international recognition at galleries and museums throughout the world.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 424 pages
  • Publisher: Dis Voir/Actes Sud; Nov Har/Dv edition (December 15, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 2742768939
  • ISBN-13: 978-2742768936
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1.5 x 11.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #381,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
I saw this book (in French) at the Venice Biennale, after seeing the show the book is based on in the French Pavillion. The show was one of the most engaging works of art I've seen (stand-out for me at the event), and the book is a lush record of it. There were DVD's included in the one I saw in Venice. The work dissects a break up letter-real or fictional we are not sure. A number of women (and a hilarious cockatoo) give a personal response to the letter- some are written corrections and textual responses, others are engaging video performances which range from spaced out dancing,opera, kabuki or plain speaking in home environments. It was fascinating to watch as an installation- and for those unable to see the real thing, the book gives a close account. Recommend to anyone who is a fan of Calle's work.
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Format: Hardcover
Calle has said she's more comfortable working in the book format and it shows. Most glossy catalogues involve a couple of self-validating essays and a lot of images of the works in the show. This book is no less than the exhibition itself in book format.

The format of the exhibition (107 documents, transcripts and photographic portraits) is entirely replicated here, with very strong attention to detail, including various grades of paper as suits the needs of the text/image. The English version is especially handy as the transcripts also act as translation, without losing anything from the French documents. Also included are DVDs of every response that took the form of video. The cover is actually a rather glamorous shiny metallic pink, and not the matte colour in the picture. This is an expensive book but if you're interested in Calle, it's worth it, and rewards even someone who didn't get to see the exhibition.

And the work itself? I saw it a year ago and it was easily the most interesting thing at the Biennial. Calle, unable to fully take in a break-up email, sent it to 107 women to dissect, interpret, explain it for her according to their various professions. Those females include a lawyer, a journalist, a parrakeet, a teenager, a dancer, a markswoman, a comedienne, and a proofreader - each woman later photographed reading the letter in wonderful, luminous portraits. The cumulative effect is funny, pointed, sad, and basically fascinating. It's an attempt to understand breakups that we can all relate to - many people said it was too dogged, indulgent, too literal, but that basically is exactly why I like it. A consciously quixotic attempt to bring the mess of relationships somewhere into the rational, but you can't help feeling that along the way Calle's ex-lover got his comeuppance.
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Format: Hardcover
You want to break a relationship. You have three options: telling the truth and be ruthless, disappear and be cowardly, or to lie and be gentle. Most men, and woman, I believe, choose the third option. You don't tell your lover-not-to-be that she is too indolent, don't have humor, is too self-centered, nor do you want to leave a "what is wrong with me". And of course you don't want to admit you don't understand irony. So you lie.

The art of saying farewell to your lower is to lie well. In the book there are 107 interpretations of a farewell letter from a Mr. G to Sophie. None of them, as far as I can see, says this was a truthful and candid letter. But maybe it was as truthful as a lying letter can be?

We have to assume that the 3rd option was chosen. 107 referees seem to support this interpretation. Mr G. is probably not amongst the 107.

For a person, like the present referee, that understands badly French, but somewhat English, it would be nice to know if the interpretation of a translated letter would be similar to the interpretation of the original letter. In my language you say:"I love you" to, say, 3 persons during your life time, in English there may be 3 persons you don't say that to. In French, I don't know. By the way: long time ago a girl said to me: "take care of yourself" (that is the title of the book) and I thought she cared about my life. But apparently, in English, you can care and disappear - which is sort of logical; when she disappeared I had to take care of myself. So, the book was read - and seen - and compared to the exhibition -by a novice in everything. Since this is an art book,it may be all right.

Sophie Calles book with the interpretations is beautiful, funny, and best of all - an angry book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I first learned of Sophie Calle in Gregoire Boullier's short novel, The Mystery Guest and then tore through her short book, The Address Book. Take Care of Yourself is a whip smart, elegant monument to the complicated matter that is romantic communication. I read a section, two or three entries in a sitting. It's a sort of 13 Ways of Looking at the break up email your most perplexing ex sent you. Can not recommend highly enough.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I had been to the exhibit before buying the book and was intrigued by the comments on how it was better in book format.
It definitely is.
It's very dynamic, everything has been carefully chosen. The different types of papers, the envelopes, the dvds, attached booklets. It's an incredible experience going through this book.
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