previews

  • Christian Boltanski, Les Ombres Bougies TOT, 2008.

    “Christian Boltanksi: La Vie Possible

    Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein

    May 15–September 6, 2009

    Curated by Friedemann Malsch

    Philosopher Gilles Deleuze once praised the sublime lament of those overwhelmed by a misfortune too big for them to bear. Artist Christian Boltanski—born in occupied Paris in 1944, but not one of the “liberated”—produces art as a “great complaint” against an unacceptable past. He has given it form through ephemeral means, all the more powerful for their simplicity: clothes, shoe boxes, blurred snapshots, and flickering lightbulbs; staged disappearances, memories of unaccounted lives. In his more recent practice, the scope has expanded and the art been reduced further to intangible material and obscured identities, the artist’s own included: Heartbeats, voices, personal archives, dissolving portraits, and sped-up newsreels collapse a lifetime, our time, and time itself—which is what the Kunstmuseum’s major retrospective exhibition will also attempt to do, recapitulating Boltanski’s work from the mid-1980s on.