Publisher Note

Like ghost cards replacing a volume taken from the shelves of a library, Sophie Calle brings borrowed works from museums back to life, leaving empty spaces behind them. When she was invited to the Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris in 1989, the artist discovered the void left on the wall by the work Nu dans le bain by Pierre Bonnard, loaned to another museum. Wishing to bring the latter back to life, she begins to investigate about it, asking visitors, guards, curators and other members of the museum to describe it and even draw it. Thus, she makes the canvas exist through the memories that are told to her. One thing leading to another, the encounters with the productions of absent artists gave rise to a project: to inquire about all the information about missing works that she will be confronted with during her wanderings. Then begins a real itinerant work where transmission and memory intertwine.

The multiple stories surrounding the works, whether they were lent, stolen or replaced, were subsequently assembled in a collection bearing the name Fantômes published by Actes Sud in 2013. One of the last pages of the particularly evocative book questions the share of visible and invisible that surrounds the works that inhabit museums:

“I asked clairvoyant Maud Kristen what she saw in these empty frames. Ghosts occupy the frame, as if this flight had freed the characters, had allowed them to leave this frozen representation while remaining in the place. I feel them more present in their absence. »

Release Place Arles, France
Edition 1st edition
Release Date July 2013
Artist: Sophie Calle
ISBN-13: 978-2-330-01613-5
Subform Photobook
Topics Ghosts
Methods Photography, Wrintings
Language French
Dimensions 19.8 × 10.6 × 2.0 cm
Pages 176
Technique Offset