Christian Boltanski


Album de la photos de la famille, 1939-1964

One of Boltanski’s earliest works using found photographs. He borrowed boxes of family photographs from a friend, re-photographed around 150, and attempted to reconstruct the family’s history by putting the photographs in order and assigning identities to those who appear in the photographs. This work confirmed Boltanski’s suspicions that ‘these images were only witnesses to a collective ritual. They didn’t teach us anything about the Family D… but only sent us back to our own past.’ (cited in Christian Boltanski, by Lynn Gumpert)


Les Monuments, 1985

This series is made up of tin-framed black and white portraits of children,and monochrome prints, arranged into geometric shapes, reminiscent of memorial/funeral sculptures. The photographs are accompanied by small light bulbs, like devotional candles, and the structures are disrupted by the dangling wires, which reveal their construction. Boltanski chose school photographs after viewing his own; ‘I don’t remember any of their names, I don’t remember anything more than the faces on the photograph. It could be said that they disappeared from my memory, that this period of time was dead. Because now these children must be adults, about whom I know nothing.’ (cited in Christian Boltanski, by Lynn Gumpert). The works are usually installed in semi-darkness, lit only by the installed light bulbs, mimicking a religious interior.


Les Enfants de Dijon

This piece is a variation on Les Monuments where children’s photographs have been cropped and sized up


One Response to “Christian Boltanski”

  1. 1 Claire Solery

    And so it is : Boltanski will be at the Grand palais starting 13 January and concurrently at the Mac/Val on 15 January. The Monumenta piece is called “Personnes” (people and the Mac/Val one is “Après” (After) You can follow Boltanski’s agenda, interviews (some of them will be translated in English here: http://twitter….com/Monumenta2010
    More tweets in English to come!
    Have pictures of you experiencing a Boltanski installation or art? Take part to the Twitter experience by sending them to where we will collect and feature them with due copyrights.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s