Stored Memory – Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski|Les archives de C.B. (C. Boltanski Archives)- 1965-1988, 1989. Installation with light.  Metal, photographs, lamps, electric wire. 270 x 693 x 35.5 cm.  646 biscuit tins containing approximately 1,200 photographs and 800 miscellaneous documents, under 34 lamps and electric wire.

Christian Boltanski discovered the most important elements of his art by reconstructing his childhood with the aid of records and consistently carrying on the concept of the examination of past and non-permanence on a general level. In his works he sets out on a kind of search for clues, frequently making use of photographs he has found in estates, family albums, or old newspapers, which he enlarges into abstract silhouettes. He uses utensils associated with the subject of memory—old articles of clothing, tin boxes, archive cartons, toys—to produce the image of a fragmentarily put together past or reconstructed identity, which, however, do not contain a clear indication as to the person’s destiny. Rather the viewer is confronted with the symbolic and implied biography of a person, which allows a certain «presence of death»  to nearly become tangible.

6140cd09bfb65a37c1416044d1787c37

a945d2b2cb8cd3c70795ecd832e6216f

Les archives de C.B. (C. Boltanski Archives)– 1965-1988, 1989. (image on top)

GBM1998.1_ph_web

Christian Boltanski|Humans -1994

Humans (Gizakiak), 1994. Guggenheim Bilbao Museum.

cb001

The heart archive, 2010. Naoshima Fukutake art museum foundation, Island of
Teshima. Boltanski’s collection of  heartbeat recordings captured since 2005 from thousands of people who have  previously visited the exhibition.

The Archive is a central but paradoxical image in Boltanski’s work: it is a potential means of regaining access to what has been lost and is being mourned – adult’s perception of childhood for example – but the investigation  on the powers of archives set out ironically the absurdly limited and misleading processes of an archive, which turns easily its role of storing documents to glorify the memory in cult of the icons.

boltanski_les_enfnats_de_Dijon_1988

Les enfants de Dijon

Les enfants de Dijon

Les enfants de Dijon, 1988.

3857890306_1f1448c7df

Monument, 1985. Musée de Grenoble.

e0ce3eddf00238904d6a36a135fa97a2971b1e35

Monument, 1985.

Odessa 1989

Odessa, 1989.

Untitled, 1989.

7beb0adeb2f30d9fca1a1f3cb828d03c735a44b7

Réserve, 1990.  Museum of Modern Art, Mito, Japan.

4156125ralwm

Autel Chases, 1988. MONUMENTA 2010, Grand Palais, Paris.

Annunci