With La vie possible, the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein is devoting the largest retrospective exhibition in the German-speaking area since 1991 to French artist Christian Boltanski. It covers the development of Christian Boltanski’s oeuvre since the mid-1980s, beginning with a series of the most famous Monuments. The main focus of the exhibition is on his works of the past fifteen years.
On display are works from the Monuments series, where portraits of children from Christian Boltanski’s own school class are presented in arrangements reminiscent of altarpieces. There’s his 1990s installation Réserve: Les Suisses morts in which 1168 tin cans, each bearing a portrait photo, gather together the people who died in a certain place in western Switzerland in a certain period of time. Etre í nouveau (2005) shows the head of the artist projected onto a curtain. The installation Monuments noirs (2009), created specially for the exhibition at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, consists of 23 architectonic columns, each representing the body available to an individual during his or her lifetime. Le coeur is a simple lightbulb that switches on and off in the rhythm of Christian Boltanski’s heartbeat that fills the room. 6 septembre (2005) consists of three video projections showing the programs broadcast by French television channels on September 6, 2005. Visitors to the exhibition can follow the sequence and simultaneity of the programs, and can also pause individual programs at the press of a button.
Christian Boltanski, born in France in 1944, is one of the most internationally acclaimed artists of our time. In 2006 he was awarded the Praemium Imperiale.
Christian Boltanski: La vie possible. Opening reception, Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Vaduz, May 14, 2009.