Sophie CalleThe Hotel, Room 29 1981

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Artwork details

Sophie Calle (born 1953)
The Hotel, Room 29
L'Hôtel, Chambre 29
Date 1981
Medium2 works on paper, photographs and ink
Dimensionsdisplayed: 2140 x 1420 mm
Acquisition Presented by the Patrons of New Art through the Tate Gallery Foundation 1999
Not on display


This is a two-part framed work comprising photographs and text. In the upper part, the title Room 29 appears below a colour photograph of a pair of abutting wooden bed heads in front of floral pink and green wallpaper. The twin beds and their pillows have a taut cover of turquoise Indian print fabric. Below the title, three short columns of italic text are diary entries describing findings in the hotel room on Saturday 28 February 1981 and Sunday 1 March. In the lower part a grid of seven black and white photographs show things listed in the text above. This work is part of a project titled The Hotel, which the artist has defined:

On Monday, February 16, 1981, I was hired as a temporary chambermaid for three weeks in a Venetian hotel. I was assigned twelve bedrooms on the fourth floor. In the course of my cleaning duties, I examined the personal belongings of the hotel guests and observed through details lives which remained unknown to me. On Friday, March 6, the job came to an end. (Quoted in Calle, pp.140-1… (read more)

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