Publisher Note

Box with 3 books:
"Souvenirs De Berlin-Est"
When the communist regime fell, German leaders removed from East Berlin all visible markers of the political past of this part of the city. Sophie Calle goes to meet the inhabitants of East Berlin and asks them to describe these symbols to her in order to get an idea of them.

At the Musée d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, in 1989, and at the Musée d'Art Moderne in New York, in 1991, paintings having been temporarily lent, in front of their spaces left empty, I asked the curators, the guards and other museum staff to describe them to me and draw them for me. I replaced the missing paintings with these memories. In 1990, paintings were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston. Following the theft, the spaces occupied by the paintings remained empty. I photographed this involuntary staging of absence and asked the curators, guards and other museum staff to describe the missing works to me. In 1994, the empty frames of some of these paintings were again hung in their proper place, thus delimiting the absence. I asked museum staff and visitors to tell me what they saw inside these frames.

In order to represent certain works currently stolen or missing, Sophie Calle sets out to meet people who were in contact with them. She asks them to describe them to her in order to get an idea.

Artists’ Book

L' Absence

— Fantômes - Souvenirs De Berlin-Est - Disparitions

by Sophie Calle

Release Place Arles, France
Edition 1st edition
Release Date May 2000
Artist: Sophie Calle
ISBN-13: 9782742728015
Methods Photography, Writings
Language French
Dimensions 19.5 × 10.0 × 3.0 cm
Technique Offset