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Sophie Calle L'Hotel

IN PURSUIT OF THE PERFECT ART BOOK. SOPHIE CALLE'S 1984 L'HOTEL IS CONCEPTUALLY COMPLETE. IT'S A SLEEPER SUPERBOOK. THERE IS NO ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT.
Published in 1984, Sophie Calle's L'Hotel is a perfect book. A squarish softcover of 108 pages. It is completely unimprovable. In 1981, Calle took a job as a chambermaid at a Venice hotel and secretly photographed the rooms in the absence of the guests.

It is brilliantly simple. None of the images are overworked. They are cool and surprising and inspiring because they are not thought about. The owner of this outfit is not only not wearing it, she wasn't even expecting anyone else to be looking at it.
Calle carefully documented the unmade beds, the belongings, the clothes left in heaps on the floor or folded carefully in the wardrobe. Alongside these photographs, Calle wrote texts imagining the lives of the people whose personal space she was inhabiting.

In our favourite image the Pope shares the surface of a side table with a tennis playing Snoopy. Its perfection in a picture! We are also very fond of this teeth cleaning / duck head umbrella handle mashup. The whole book is very special. See more here.
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