Sophie Calle on becoming an artist

Artist Sophie Calle recounts her undirected and serendipitous path to becoming an artist, beginning with a chance stay at a photographer's home in Bolinas, California, and an experimental visit to a cemetery with a camera. She also recalls her first major project, The Sleepers (1979), which consists of 173 photographs and 23 explanatory texts documenting a series of consecutive eight-hour periods in which individuals (friends, neighbors, strangers) slept alone in her bed over the course of a week. Calle later combined the photographs and writings she made during this project with snippets from interviews with her subjects. The work led to her first exhibition at the XI Biennale de Paris in 1980.

  • Total running time: 3 min.

  • Featured Artist: Sophie Calle
  • SFMOMA Release Date: July 2014