The acclaimed photobook classic True Stories returns for the sixth time, gathering a series of short autobiographical texts and photos by Sophie Calle, this time with six new tales.
Published for the first time in 1994 and regularly re-edited and enhanced, True Stories returns again this year with four unpublished narratives related in Sophie Calle’s familiar precise sober prose and photography. By turns serious, hilarious, dramatic or cruel, these real-life tales represent a form of work in progress recounting fragments of her life. There are six new stories added to the previous ones.
Calle’s projects have frequently drawn on episodes from her own life, but this book – part visual memoir, part meditation on the resonances of photographs and belongings – is as close as she has come to producing an autobiography, albeit one highly poetical and fragmentary, as is characteristic of her work. The tales – never longer than a page – are by turns lighthearted, humorous, serious, dramatic or cruel. Each is accompanied by an image; each offers a fragment of life. The slim, portable volume is divided into sections: the first is composed of various reflections on objects such as a shoe, a postcard or ‘the breasts’; the second, ‘The Husband’, of recollections of episodes from Calle’s first marriage; and the third gathers a variety of autobiographical recollections. Calle herself is the author, narrator and protagonist of her stories and photography; her words are sombre, chosen precisely and carefully.
One of the 21st century’s foremost artists, Calle here offers up her own story – childhood, marriage, sex, death – with brilliant humour, insight and pleasure.