Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski

Born in 1944 in Paris, France. Lives and works in Paris, France.

A leading figure of the French art world, Christian Boltanski began his career as a self-taught painter at the end of the 1950s. Internationally renowned, he exhibited Personnes (People or nobodies), a colossal installation for Monumenta at the Grand Palais in 2010 and represents France at the Venice Biennale in 2011. Haunted by the Holocaust, he has pursued work about private memory since his founding autobiographical work at the end of 1960, the artist book Recherche et présentation de tout de qui reste de mon enfance (Research and presentation of everything that remains from my childhood) 1944-1950. Showcases, photographic archives, directories, newspaper cuttings, rusty biscuit tins, clothes, heartbeats, in-between real souvenirs and brazen lies, Christian Boltanski reinvents his own history and those of anonymous Holocaust victims through a very established repertory of clues from memory which strives for universality. Childhood, family, death, daily and traumatic banalities from deportation are the fundamental, individual, and collective themes of this magnificently cold artwork which invariably sparks emotion from the spectator, by the very nature of a work where the test of memory, the sensitivity and the pathos of conservation and disappearance are face-to-face. The internationally exhibited Monuments, Suisses morts, Théâtre d’ombres, Archives du coeur (Monuments, Dead Swiss, Theatre of Shadows, Archives of the Heart) characterise obsessive, macabre, and therapeutic artwork that is inescapably arresting. MT.