“At the end of January 1980, on the streets of Paris, I followed a man whom I lost sight of a few minutes later in the crowd. That very evening, quite by chance, he was introduced to me at an opening. During the course of our conversation, he told mehe was planning an imminent trip to Venice. I decided to follow him.”
This is the beginning of Suite Vénitienne, a thrilling book by french photographer and writer Sophie Calle, first published in 1983 and now reissued in an English edition, in which the author blends daily annotations with black and white photography.
Sophie had decided - in a pure artistic approach - to follow random men in the street and without them knowing.
As if she were a private detective, she took notes of these long walks and b&w pictures of men from behind, in various places around Paris. One day she found new prey, but he escaped her and disappeared into the crowd. In the evening, the very same man - Henri - was introduced to Sophie during a dinner in the city. Henri said that he was soon leaving for Venice and secretly Sophie Calle decided to restart her mission, that was to go and follow him incognito in the alleys and rii of Venice.
Of this expedition she brought back a journal of 79 pages and 105 photos.
In her work, Mrs Calle not only presents us Venice under a different point of view: she investigates the distance between us and how we can never truly know each other.
Read more about this book on an interesting article published by the LA Times: