In this show laid out over the two floors of the gallery, Boltanski gives free rein to his interest in a form of total art in which the works develop their own scenography. Articulated in a coherent whole, they stimulate all the vectors of perception, whether direct or deeper in the private world of memory.
Artist(s) Christian Boltanski
Venue Galerie Marian Goodman
All images Photo by Rebecca Fanuele. Courtesy by the artist and Galerie Marian Goodman.
“The experience I want visitors to have in each of my exhibitions is not necessarily to understand but to feel that something has happened,” explains the artist. This exhibition comprises a new set of sculptures combined with video projections, a big new video installation in the basement, and, in conclusion, two other, older installations.
On the ground floor, masses of white cloths on trolleys randomly fill the centre of the room. In these new works titled Les Linges (2020), which the artist began working on during the lockdown last spring, Boltanski’s emblematic materials “take on a new meaning in connection with the events we are living through.” We are invited to lose ourselves as we walk among these forms that slowly stir memories of an atmosphere or experience we have known.
This installation is juxtaposed with projections on the walls titled Les Esprits(2020). In them we see the faces of children, their barely visible features gently fading, like fleeting memories. At first ghostly, the faces then appear more distinctly on the walls as the light dims, thereby creating a dynamic interaction with the characteristics of the gallery space.
A barely visible, mysterious video accompanies viewers and invites them to go downstairs.
On the lower level, the video installation Les Disparus (2020) spreads over four large curtains on which “clichéd videos of a fabricated vision of happiness hide subliminal images of the horrors that took place in the century I was born into and that unfolded in parallel to part of my life,” explains the artist. “For most of us, they remain present in our subconscious.”
The word Après (After, 2016) invites us to enter the more peaceful space of Les vitrines ( 2020).