The way the story begins may be familiar to some: Calle's boyfriend broke up with her.
The part that makes it a bit worse is: He broke up with her via e-mail, closing it with "Take care of yourself." *
And the part that makes it infinitely better: She had 107 of her friends interpret the e-mail, after which she compiled all of these interpretations into a traveling art exhibit.
It was schadenfreudian, fascinating, wonderful, hilarious, and a bunch of other things that I don't even have the capacity to put into words. All of the interpretations were so different – and done through so many different media – that this felt very far from the "shifting from painting to painting in the Nothern Renaissance room." **
The break-up letter (which was translated into English and available in a huge stack of copies at the door) was interpreted by dancers, singers, composers, writers, historians, a criminologist, social scientists, a mother, a children's book writer, a comic book illustrator, a typographer... the list goes on. Each piece was comprised of a photograph of the person interacting with the letter in some way, and their interpretation. The interpretations took the form of videos, manuscripts, layouts, and more.
Check it out. It's free, the weather is beautiful now, and it's open until 6 June. Helpful to know: The whole thing is in French. If you don't speak French, there are translations available at the door (which nobody told my friends and me when we walked in, so we spent our time there consuming this thing semi-viscerally until the absolute end. I kind of liked it that way).
* Here is a scan of the letter:
(This scan is from Polly-Vous Francais? ... I know, I said that I would bring the letter in and scan it myself, but twittish Johanna forgot.)
** Don't get me wrong. Rembrandt and Dürer and Bosch, oh my! I love all of them. But, generally (and after a few years), if you've seen one Madonna With Child...