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Documentation

Sophie Calle

For months I followed strangers on the street. For the pleasure of following them, not because they particularly interested me. I photographed them without their knowledge, took note of their movements, then finally lost sight of them and forgot them.

At the end of January 1980, on the streets of Paris, I followed a man whom I lost sight of a few minutes later in the crowd. That very evening, quite by chance, he was introduced to me at an opening. During the course of our conversation, he told me he was planning an imminent trip to Venice. I decided to follow him.

—from Suite Vénitienne by Sophie Calle

Sophie Calle often uses a combination of images and text to document her actions. She is well known for the work Suite Venitienne (1979), a book in which she documents the process of following “a man, known as Henri B., from Paris to Venice, where she spends 12 days trailing him” (read more here). This description of the action combined with the photographs that she took are together both the documentation of an activity and the work itself.