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Place(s) of work: Malakoff (fr)
Christian Boltanski is a French photographer, sculptor, self-taught painter, and installation artist born in Paris in 1944. He lives and works in Malakoff, a suburb of Paris and is married to the artist Annette Messager, with whom he sometimes collaborates.
He works with materials relating to the human condition such as obituary photographs and discarded or lost property in an attempt to memorialize the anonymous or disappeared and explore the concepts of death, memory and loss. Boltanski has also used his own life as material for his art, both his actual and re-invented past. By using photographs and sentimental objects from his youth, he reconstructed the history of his life using various media including film, performance, photography, and video, a combination that he still uses in his installations today.
Boltanski discussed his motivation as an artist during an interview for TATE Magazine stating: "I began to work as an artist when I began to be an adult, when I understood that my childhood was finished, and was dead. I think we all have somebody who is dead inside of us. A dead child. I remember the Little Christian that is dead inside me."
His work has been exhibited internationally at museums including: Muse d'Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; Whitechapel Gallery, London; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museo Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid as well as featured in Documenta (1972, 1986) and at the Venice Biennale (1993, 1996).
Boltanski received the Laureate of the Praemium Imperiale art prize in 2006.(read less)
Techniques & Media: Drawing, Film and Video Art, Installation, Painting, Performance Art, Photography, Sculpture
Inspirations & Key Themes: Anonymity, Death, History, Loss of Innocence, Memory
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