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Christian Boltanski (French, 1944- )

Christian Boltanski's early conceptual art explored his own childhood and identity through films, such as "Everything I Remember" (1969), mail art, records, and artist books that included photos of his building blocks and school compositions. His fetishized assemblages of appropriated materials and photographs include such works as Habits of François C (c. 1971), twenty-five framed photographs of items from a boy's wardrobe. His Holocaust installations of found-photographs of 1930s school children, with piles of clothing and other objects belonging to the dead, trigger collective memory. Boltanski has worked in anthropology museums, and his arrangements of photos and objects function as "specimens" rich in symbolism and associations.
- Patricia Schaefer

Selected Bibliography
Alpern, Ernst. Jan. "Deadly Historians: Christian Boltanski's Intervention in Holocaust Historiography," in Caught by History: Holocaust Effects in Contemporary Art. Palo Alto, Calif.: Stanford University Press, 1997: 93-122.

Durden, Mark and Papadimitriou, Lydia. "San Souci: Christian Boltanski Interviewed." Creative Camera, 315. (1992): 19-23.

Gumpert, Lynn. Christian Boltanski. Paris: Flammarion, 1994.


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