Vera Greenwood
L’hôtel SofiCalle—The Whole Story / L’hôtel SofiCalle—Toute La Vérité


Vera Greenwood’s paperback novel, L’hôtel SofiCalle—The Whole Story / L’hôtel SofiCalle—Toute La Vérité, expands on French artist Sophie Calle’s early following works in the streets of Paris. In it, Greenwood assumes the role of private investigator and Sophie Calle, her unsuspecting target.

Greenwood’s 2001-2003 L’hôtel SofiCalle installations were comprised of various displays illustrating her pursuit of Sophie Calle in Paris in the winter of 1997/98. Greenwood deployed a variety of means to document her investigation: in addition to photographic “proof,” she collected assorted souvenirs and detritus to record the study, while also maintaining a detailed written diary of her activities. It was the combination of the objects the artist collected, along with the narrative strand of her diary that formed the foundation for these exhibitions. The bookwork became an integral component of the installation in 2002. It presents, in classic first-person detective-fiction narrative, a far more detailed account of Greenwood’s adventures in Paris than the actual installations could.

This bilingual (English and French) publication, reflecting the context in which the project was created, was financed solely by a grant from Le conseil des arts et des letters du Québec. A black and white photo section illustrates the progress of Greenwood’s investigation, making the novel a complete and portable record of her artistic research in Paris.

ABotM seal of approval

Self published
17.5 x 11 cm, 240 pages, black and white, 2002
Edition of 350

Available from the artist

Vera Greenwood was born and raised in Calgary and currently lives and works in the Gatineau Hills of Québec. She has a Diploma of Visual Art from the Alberta College of Art and Design (Calgary), as well as a Master of Fine Arts degree from Concordia University (Montréal), both specialized in printmaking, which she has taught at Concordia University and Arctic College. Over the past 15 years Greenwood’s printmaking background has developed into a multi-media installation practice. Her work has been widely exhibited across Canada, Europe and Mexico, and can be found in the collections of the Canada Council Art Bank, National Gallery of Canada Library, Library and Archives Canada, the Ottawa Art Gallery, the City of Ottawa, Carleton University Art Gallery, and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. Her recent artistic residencies include the Canada Council Paris Studio, The Banff Centre for the Arts, the Art Gallery of Sudbury, Centro de la Imagen (Mexico City) and Daïmon (Gatineau, Québec). In October 2009, her new body of photographic work entitled SEVER was previewed at the Toronto International Art Fair. Greenwood’s forthcoming novel The Whole Enchilada—My Madcap Mexican Adventure, based on her experiences at a residency sponsored by DFAIT (Canada), FONCA (Mexico) and Centro de la Imagen (Mexico), will be launched in early 2010. She will be attending the Vermont Studio Centre in early 2010 to begin development on a new body of work entitled The Nixon Tapes. Greenwood’s work is represented by Patrick Mikhail Gallery in Ottawa.