Christian Boltanski
Born in Paris, France, 1944. Lives and works in Paris. In the late 1960s the artist undertook a “personal ethnology” marked, among others, by the influence of Claude Lévi-Strauss and Harald Szeemann. The pieces “Reconstitutions des choses de mon enfance” and the “Vitrines de reference” date from this period. At the same time, drawing on museology, Boltanski exhibited inventories of items of anonymous owners. Between 1978 and 1984 he produced the photographic series called “Compositions”, followed by “Monuments” and “Reliquaires”. In these works photographic portraits of anonymous people alongside biscuit tins acquire the form of religious altars, lit by small lamps or plain light bulbs. From 1988 his visual vocabulary also began to incorporate used clothing. Since the 2000s he has been designing monumental installations in atypical locations. Among his current projects the “Archives du Coeur” is undoubtedly the most ambitious. For this project the artist has collected and recorded heartbeats from around the world, which have been stored on the small island of Teshima in Japan. He has received numerous awards and recognitions, including the Kunstpreis Aachen (1994), the Roland-Preis for art in public spaces by the “Stiftung Bremer Bildhauerpreis”(1997) and the Praemium Imperiale (for sculpture) from the Japan Art Association in Tokyo (2006). In the last decade his work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, such as “Animitas” at Espace Louis Vuitton in Munich (2017/18), “Dopo” at Fondazione Merz in Turin (2015/16), “Chance” at French Pavilion at Venice Biennale (2011), “Personnes” for “Monumenta” at Grand Palais in Paris (2010). Photo by Didier Lowy. Image courtesy of the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris, London