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Christian Boltanski: Chance / French Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011

The French Pavilion at the 54th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, curated by Jean-Hubert Martin, presents a new installation by French artist Christian Boltanski. The installation, titled “Chance“, deals with the themes that are characteristic for Boltanski’s work: chance, luck and misfortune.

In the main room Christian Boltanski installed a large scaffold with a oversize film strip that shows the faces of babies shortly after their birth. The film strip runs at high speed until it randomly stops and picks one of these babies, displayed on an lcd screen. In each of the two side rooms, a large digital clock counts up the world’s population.

Christian Boltanski: Chance / French Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2011. Preview, June 2, 2011.

Photo set and press release after the jump.

See also: Christian Boltanski: Personnes / Monumenta 2010 at Grand Palais Paris / Interview and Christian Boltanski. La vie possible / Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.

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Christian Boltanski: Personnes / Monumenta 2010 at Grand Palais Paris / Interview

Monumenta is series of monumental exhibitions at the Grand Palais, one of the great historic buildings of Paris created for the 1900 World Fair in the heart of the French capital. After Anselm Kiefer (in 2007) and Richard Serra (in 2008), French artist Christian Boltanski was invited by the Ministry of Culture and Communication to create an exceptional new work for the 13,500 square meter exhibition space. The work Boltanski has created for Monumenta is titled “Personnes”, on view at the Grand Palais until February 21, 2010.

In this conversation with Christophe Ecoffet, Christian Boltanski talks about the concept of the exhibition: what he wanted to achieve with this work, the title of the exhibition, the challenge of producing a work for the Grand Palais, the sound of heartbeats the visitors hear while walking through the exhibition.

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. His artistic work revolves around the themes memory, death and loss. For Monumenta, Christian Boltanski created a work in sound and vision titled “Personnes” – meaning both “people” and “nobodies”. Personnes is a “social, religious and humanistic exploration of life, memory and the irreductible individuality of each and every human existence – together with the presence of death, the dehumanisation of the body, chance and destiny. Conceived as a work in sound and vision, Personnes takes up a new theme in Boltanski’s work, building on his earlier explorations of the limits of human existence and the vital dimension of memory : the question of fate, and the ineluctability of death. Personnes transforms the entire Nave of the Grand Palais through the creation of a coherent, intensely moving installation conceived as a gigantic animated tableau. Personnes is a one-off, ephemeral work. In accordance with the artist’s wishes, the components of the piece will all be recycled at the end of the exhibition.” (Excerpt from the press release).

Christian Boltanski: Personnes / Monumenta 2010 at Grand Palais Paris / Interview. Video: Christophe Ecoffet.

PS: See also VernissageTV’s coverage of Christian Boltanski’s retrospective at Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein: Christian Boltanski. La vie possible / Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein.

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Entry filed under: art, best of, interview, Paris, VernissageTV | 2 Comments »

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Christian Boltanski. La vie possible / Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

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 à 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.

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Entry filed under: art, no comment, VernissageTV | Comments Off

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