Image: Les Tombes #17, (Mother, Father)
(Paris, France, 1953 - )

Les Tombes #17 [The Graves], Mother, Father , 1978 (printed 1990)

Gelatin silver prints in metal frames
70 in. x 42 1/2 in. (177.8 cm x 107.95 cm)
Knight Purchase Fund for Photographic Media
1999.35 a,b
panel detail, 1999.35b
panel detail, 1999.35a
The art of Sophie Calle combines text and image, performance and photographic documentation and fact and fiction in order to address issues of identity and social interaction.  Her first series, Les Tombes, consists of framed photographs of headstones in a California cemetery. These grave markers identify familial relationships but bear no names. Calle’s images are straightforward but nonetheless evoke strong emotions because we cannot help making associations with our own experiences of death and loss.  The artist installs this work several ways.  The photographs can lean against the wall, as they do here, drawing attention to their physical existence as objects.  They can be hung in a more conventional manner to stress that they are images.  They have also been shown laying flat on the floor.
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Online Collection paid for with a grant from
John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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