Creative Time Announces New Public Artwork by Sophie Calle

Creative Time Announces New Public Artwork by Sophie Calle

Creative Time is pleased to announce the commission of "Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery", a 25 year long new public artwork by the internationally renowned French conceptual artist Sophie Calle co-presented with Green-Wood Cemetery. The project will debut with a two daylong inaugural event on April 29th and 30th, 2017. The Artist will be present on April 29th and 30th from 12 - 5 PM.

To inaugurate the project, the public is invited to Green-Wood Cemetery, a National Historic Landmark, in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, to privately unburden and inter their most intimate confessions.

"Like many of Sophie Calle's stirring artworks, Here Lie the Secrets of the Visitors of Green-Wood Cemetery provides space for intimate reflection. It is a quiet, personal, and yet also public act." says Creative Time Artistic Director Nato Thompson. "In a time of such social upheaval, delicate gestures like this gain urgency."

During the two-day opening, in a setting nestled among the mausoleums and monuments of Green-Wood's verdant rolling hills, visitors will transcribe their secrets onto paper, seal them in an envelope, and deposit them into the earth below, through a slot on a marble obelisk of Calle's design. The artist herself will be on hand during the two-day event to receive some visitors' secrets.

"Questions of identity, morality, and voyeurism have long been integral to Calle's work. We're thrilled to present this intimate, personal reflection on them, set against the stunning landscape of Green-Wood," says Creative Time Executive Director Katie Hollander.

"Green-Wood has inspired artists for nearly two-centuries. Its juxtaposition of natural beauty with questions of mortality and meaning present a unique stage for Ms. Calle's work," noted Richard J. Moylan, President of Green-Wood.

The two-day performance will be open and free to the public. Guests are invited to spend the day exploring the sculptures and monuments throughout Green-Wood, a tradition that dates back to the early 1800s. Free maps of the cemetery, specially designed to accompany Calle's installation, will be available. Also guided walking tours, with an emphasis on symbols and iconography, will be offered at no cost. Following the inaugural performance weekend, visitors to the Cemetery can see Calle's installation during regular cemetery hours and independently deposit secrets into the marble obelisk.

Calle has also pledged to return periodically over the next 25 years, each time the grave is filled, to exhume and cremate them in a ceremonial bonfire service and moment of remembrance.


Born in 1953 in Paris, France. Lives and works in Malakoff, France, and is represented by Paula Cooper Gallery and Perrotin.

Since the late 1970s, Sophie Calle has merged image and narration. Her work methodically organizes an unveiling of reality - her own and that of others, while allocating a controlled part of this reality to chance. The theme of absence is central to her work. From the beginning, she has exhibited in galleries and international museums. A major exhibition entitled "A suivre" was held in 1991 at ARC / Musée d'Art moderne de la Ville de Paris. In 2003, a Sophie Calle retrospective titled "M'as-tu vue" ("Did you See Me?") was organised by the Centre Pompidou (then travelled to the Martin- Gropius-Bau, Berlin, the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin and the Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, Aachen, Germany). For "Take Care of Yourself" at the 2007 Venice Biennale, Sophie Calle invites women to interpret a breakup email. The artist orchestrates these interpretations by combining texts, photographs and videos. This exhibition then travelled to the Bibliothèque nationale de France and throughout twenty museums across the world. More recently, "Rachel, Monique" dealt with the death of her mother. Different versions of the exhibition were exhibited at Palais de Tokyo (2010), the Avignon Festival (2012), the Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest in New York (2014), and at Castello di Rivoli in Torino, "MAdRE" in 2015. The exhibition "Last Seen", recently exhibited at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston echoed a 1991 series of the same title, also linked with Museum collections.<

Recent solo exhibitions include "Pour la dernière et pour la première fois" at Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal, Canada, 2015, at the Toyota Municipal Museum of Art, Aichi, Japan, 2015 and at Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, Nagasaki, Japan, 2016; "Modus vivendi" at la Virreina, Centre de la Imatge, Barcelona, Spain, 2016; "Cuídese mucho" at Museo Tamayo, Mexico, 2014 and at el Centro Cultural Néstor Kirchner, Buenos Aires, Argentina, 2015.

Personal exhibitions will be held at Fort Mason Center for Arts & Culture, San-Francisco from June 28 to August 20, 2017 and at Musée de la Chasse et de la Nature in Paris from October 10, 2017 to February 11, 2018.


Founded in 1838 and now a National Historic Landmark, Green-Wood was one of the first rural cemeteries in America. By the early 1860s, it had earned an international reputation for its magnificent beauty and became the prestigious place to be buried, attracting 500,000 visitors a year, second only to Niagara Falls as the nation's greatest tourist attraction. Crowds flocked there to enjoy family outings, carriage rides, and sculpture viewing in the finest of first generation American landscapes. Green-Wood's popularity helped inspire the creation of public parks, including New York City's Central and Prospect Parks. The Green-Wood Historic Fund, a 501(C) (3) not-for-profit organization, maintains Green-Wood's monuments and buildings of historical, cultural and architectural significance; advances public knowledge and appreciation of this significance; and preserves the natural habitat and parklands of one of New York City's first green spaces.


Since opening in 1838, Green-Wood's beautiful landscape and stunning monuments have inspired artists of every discipline. Not coincidentally, it was chosen as the final resting place of scores of 19th- and 20th-century artists, architects, and designers, including Asher Durand, Louis Comfort Tiffany, John La Farge, Nathaniel Currier and James Merritt Ives, and Jean-Michel Basquiat, amongst many others. Sophie Calle's installation adds to this rich history and tradition.


Creative Time, the New York based public arts non-profit, is committed to working with artists on the dialogues, debates and dreams of our time. Creative Time presents the most innovative art in the public realm, providing new platforms to amplify artists voices, including the Creative Time Summit - an international convening at the intersection of art and social justice.

Since 1974, Creative Time has produced over 350 groundbreaking public art projects that ignite the imagination, explore ideas that shape society, and engage millions of people around the globe. The non-profit that since its inception has been at the forefront of socially engaged public art seeks to convert the power of artists' ideas into works that inspire and challenge the public. Creative Time projects stimulate dialogue on timely issues, and initiate a dynamic experience between artists, sites, and audiences.

For more information on Creative Time please visit To connect with us via twitter use @CreativeTime and find us on Instagram @CreativeTimeNYC. To share the project via social media please use #secretsofgreenwood #creativetime #sophiecalle.


Major Creative Time programming support for 2017 has been provided by the Ford Foundation, Lambent Foundation, Toby D. Lewis Donor Advised Fund of The Jewish Federation of Cleveland, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts, Athena Art Finance, and Bombay Sapphire.


Due to crowd size and time limitations, not all visitors will be able to interact directly with Sophie. Admittance will be on a first-come, first-serve basis. For those who are unable to speak to Sophie, or who wish to keep their secrets to themselves, you may deposit your secret directly into the monument over the inaugural weekend, or any day thereafter for the next 25 years.