Sept 13th – Nov 23th
Boltanski is one of the most important international artists working today. For his first exhibition in Solo Gallery Madrid, he creates a dialogue between his historical and contemporary works, pursuing that which gives his oeuvre its singularity and richness: the basis of humanity, its fears, beliefs, and hopes.
Christian Boltanski’s work draws on history, from the most universal to the most intimate, as a way of challenging the present. Since the beginning of his artistic career in the 70s and 80s, he has recorded and tracked human drama as the subject of his work, in an effort to bring the memory of forgotten tragedies and struggles to the forefront of the here and now.
Today, the artist brings the past and the present face to face with historical and recent works in which he continues to question the characteristics and foundations of humanity, whether in the Atacama Desert of Chile, the White Desert of Canada, the forests of Japan, or in Israel on the Dead Sea.
Like an archaeologist of history and humanity, Boltanski focuses on objects, photographs, vestiges and intimate memories. For some time, he created these pieces from his own fiction, then began to trace the memories of others, the strangers that he introduces to us through their images, their eyes, the objects they cherished.
The enlarged photographs of the eyes of those who disappeared at Nazi death camps, the fragments of their lives and their stories challenge us from the city walls.
In a recent work composed of an old photograph, the children of the Hamburger strasse are given new life through moving images, like volatile memories. Faces, glances, voices look at us and try to find us. In each of us, these errant souls of history find an echo, a resonance, a memory, forgotten then rediscovered.
These days, the shadows for Boltanski are white. White like white noise, a sound that exists but is not heard. Perhaps in this paradoxical title, there is a tribute to those who haunt our history. And those who are neither seen nor heard. White because they are drawn back to the light.