"PERSONNES". Monumenta 2010

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Christian Boltanski

Christian Boltanski (Paris, September 6, 1944) is a French sculptor, photographer, painter and film maker, most well known for his photography installations and contemporary French Conceptual style. Boltanski began creating art in the late 1950s, but didn't rise to prominence until almost a decade later through a few short, avante-garde films and some published notebooks in which he referenced his childhood.

In 1986, Boltanski began creating mixed media/materials installations with light as essential concept. Tin boxes, altar-like construction of framed and manipulated photographs (e.g. Chases School, 1986–1987), photographs of Jewish schoolchildren taken in Vienna in 1931, used as a forceful reminder of mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, all those elements and materials used in his work are used in order to represent deep contemplation regarding reconstruction of past. While creating Reserve (exhibition at Basel, Museum Gegenwartskunst, 1989), Boltanski filled rooms and corridors with worn clothing items as a way of inciting profound sensation of human tragedy at concentration camps. As in his previous works, objects serve as relentless reminders of human experience and suffering. His piece, Monument (Odessa), uses six photographs of Jewish students in 1939 and lights to resemble Yahrzeit candles to honor and remember the dead. "My work is about the fact of dying, but it's not about the Holocaust itself."

Additionally, his enormous installation titled "No Man's Land" (2010) at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, is a great example of how his constructions and installations trace the lives of the lost and forgotten.

Christian Boltanski has participated in over 150 art exhibitions throughout the world.[7] Among others, he had solo exhibitions at the New Museum (1988), the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Magasin 3 in Stockholm, the La Maison Rouge gallery, Institut Mathildenhöhe, the Kewenig Galerie, The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme and many others. From 1 July to 25 September 2011, museum Es Baluard (Mallorca, Spain) exhibited "Signatures", the installation Christian Boltanski conceived specifically for Es Baluard and which is focused on the memory of the workers who in the 17th Century built the museum's walls.

In 2002, Boltanski made the installation "Totentanz II", a Shadow Installation with copper figures, for the underground Centre for International Light Art (CILA) in Unna, Germany.
Prizes

    2007 billionéateurs sans frontières award for visual arts by Cultures France
    2007 Praemium Imperiale Award by the Japan Art Association[8]
    2001 Goslarer Kaiserring, Goslar, Germany[8]
    2001 Kunstpreis, given by Nord/LB, Braunschweig, Germany[8]

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