Sophie Calle at Fort Mason: Reports from love’s front lines

Her work is not visual art, not short story, not autobiography but all three, and then some. She is a correspondent from love’s front lines, an impresario of one-act tragedies. In her works, memory and longing become almost concrete things, subject to a kind of emotional inspection — one that yields few answers but can be as gruesomely detailed and as fascinating as a vivisection. I might tell you about the plot of a book, but that would not help you to know if you would be moved by it. So it is with Calle’s installations of photographs, video and text. The themes of four projects, assembled as an exhibition called “Missing” at Fort Mason Center for Arts and Culture through Aug. 20, will intrigue you: “The Last Image” (2010) deals with the visual memories of individuals who lost the sense of sight at some point in their lives. “Voir la Mer” (2011) silently observes as people experience the sea for the first time. “Rachel Monique” (2007) is built around the death of the artist’s mother. The largest and best known, “Take Care of Yourself” (2007), enlists the aid of interpretive specialists in coming to terms with a breakup […]

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