Christian Boltanski’s traces of lives

Seemingly So

French artist Christian Boltanski (1944) began his artistic career at the age of 12, when he started painting and drawing. In the 60s he moved on to creating art installations revolving around life & death and the ephemera of the human experience, tracing the lives of the lost and forgotten through objects that serve as relentless reminder to human experience and suffering.

10 Portraits Photographiques de Christian Boltanski, 1946-1964 (1972) is an artists’ book seemingly featuring photographs of Christian Boltanski at ages 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 14, 17, and 20. In fact, all photographs were taken by Annette Messager one afternoon near the waterfall in the Parc Montsouris in Paris. Only the last photograph portrays Christian Boltanski, at the age of 28, not 20.

Dix portraits Boltanski
Photos © Annette Messager

The Shadows (1984) consists of light focused on figurative shapes and forms generating a mysterious environment of silhouettes in…

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