Photo Poche, the oldest and most prestigious paperback edition dedicated to photography, is celebrating its 40th anniversary in style, with the publication of a new book dedicated to Sophie Calle, directed by Clément Cheroux.
Hiring a detective to spy on her and send her an account of her day, asking blind people to tell her the last image they remember, using authentic classified ads as clutches for fictions… Sophie Calle loves stories: those she tells as much as those she collects.
She invents protocols, submits to meticulous procedures, sometimes quite strict, which often turn into rituals. She reveres, above all, chance encounters, petrifying coincidences, and what, since Apollinaire and the Surrealists, has been described as a “poetics of surprise”. She creates situations that have no other purpose than to encourage the emergence of something unexpected.
If she methodically chooses the experiences to be lived, the “story maker”, according to Hervé Guibert’s expression, is not afraid to reveal her disappointed loves or the exquisite pain of absences. With a certain taste for putting herself in danger, the artist has endeavored to reveal lives as much as she has exposed herself. The aim is to highlight the extraordinary in seemingly ordinary lives.
In his introduction, Clément Chéroux, curator at MoMA, describes this quest for the “supreme point” where the dual constraints of reality and imagination, automatism and control, presence and absence, concealment and disclosure, play and death – are no longer seen as necessarily antagonistic.
To celebrate her singular work and the 40th anniversary of “Photo Poche”, Sophie Calle enters the collection with an unusual title: an enlarged volume with 176 pages, bearing the number 101, mysteriously omitted from the catalog…
Clément Chéroux was born in 1970. He is a historian of photography and has been chief curator of photography at the Museum of Modern Art in New York since 2020, after holding senior curatorial positions at the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. His first book was
published in 1994 by Actes Sud, August Strindberg’s Photographic Experience: From Naturalism to Supernaturalism. He also wrote the introduction to Joan Fontcuberta’s “Photo Poche”.
Photo Poche – Sophie Calle
A book directed by Clément Chéroux
12,5 x 19 cm
Price : 15,90 € for the book
Available in bookshops and on the Actes Sud website
October 21, 2022 to November 13, 2022