Sophie Calle – “Take Care Of Yourself”

by Chantal

Sophie Calle is one of France’s best known conceptual artists. When her lover broke up with her via an email she used it to create a fascinating piece of artwork. The work was titled Take Care of Yourself  (after the boyfriend’s parting words) and filled the French Pavilion at the Venice 2007 Biennale.

Sophie enlisted 107 women to analyse the breakup letter according to their profession—so that a writer comments on its style, a justice issues judgment, a psychoanalyst studies his psychology, and so on.

The aspect that I found really interesting was the wall of video footage she displays in which different women read, sing, and act the letter out. Screens are diplayed side by side and on top of one another each and the result is incredibly impacting visually. I think what I find moving about it is the universality of the pain of rejected love being expressed by women in all their differences. Something about the uniqueness between us all and yet the common, universal threads of emotion and experiences in life that tie us all together.