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Artist Sophie Calle Brings All the Feels to Fort Mason

The French conceptual artist mounts a big show in San Francisco—armed with some raw emotions. 

Rachel Monique. Couldn’t Capture Death (detail), 2007.

How would you like to watch a woman die? How about getting a glimpse into the last visual memories of the blind?

Get ready to feel the feels, folks: This month, the Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture is hosting the largest-ever American exhibition of French conceptual artist Sophie Calle’s multimedia works, which probe her most devastating emotional crises.

Missing (Jun. 29–Aug. 20) includes five of Calle’s most important works, including Rachel Monique (2007), a multipart project detailing the final moments of her mother’s life; Voir la mer (2011), a video series of Turkish people laying eyes on the sea for the first time; and Take Care of Yourself (2007), a collection of 107 women’s responses to a breakup email Calle’s lover once sent her—including that of a rifle expert who shot it to shreds.

The show, curated by Ars Citizen, takes place across Fort Mason, including in the fort’s chapel, the general’s residence, Gallery 308, and the firehouse. It is the second such high-profile exhibition to be hosted there, following last year’s Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff. Like that installation, Missing will be free, but viewers must make a reservation.

Calle, who has lived in Bolinas at times, will be hard to miss this month: In addition to Missing, her films will be screened at BAMPFA and the Roxie Theater, and she will appear at City Lights Bookstore and have an exhibition at FraenkelLab.


Originally published in the June issue of San Francisco 

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