Christian Boltanski is a French artist who has always been concerned with the relationship between death and oblivion. In fact, in various interviews and in his writings, he comments that he is concerned that someone dies completely, when no one is able to recognize him in a photograph. Hence, he usually makes works similar to the one we show here, an installation he made in 1991.
Suisses Morts de Boltanski
The truth is that Boltanski began his artistic work as a painter in 1958. A very young age, since he was born only 14 years earlier. And surprisingly, he began as a painter without any training and making large-scale works. However, gradually he moved away from painting and delved into all kinds of techniques, although they are always very figurative works, something that has also led him to create video formats and above all to use them in On many occasions, photographs are an indispensable part of their montages.
In reality they are always works characterized by their narrative interest, in some way at all times he is telling us stories and stories with his works, regardless of the formal presentation he gives to his creations or the techniques and materials he uses. Something that even transfers to his own life, since his biography often becomes something invented by himself, to integratewithin his own artistic narrative.
The theme of memory, loss and death are almost an obsession for him. He looks for the traces of unknown people to turn them into that artistic object and talk about oblivion and also about the chance of why some things happen and others don't, or why some things are more easily forgotten than others. For years he has played with these themes by focusing on unknown characters, or the death of his parents or his friends. But as he has gotten older and older, he focuses more and more on himself, he is concerned about his own end, and that is why he has made the latest installations and exhibitions featuring that idea of transience and that everything ends.
In short, this is a current artist with a very peculiar and reflective work, at times gloomy, although not lacking in irony. And above all unclassifiable from a stylistic point of view, since it drinks from many sources of the artistic avant-gardes of the second half of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st. There are traces of all kinds, from Pop Art to Povera, through New Realism or the Conceptual Art, but at the same time Boltanski is impossible to ascribe to any particular movement.