Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue New York, NY 10065

  • Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 1
    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 1
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 10
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 2
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 3
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 4
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 5
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 6
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 7
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 8
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    Title : Boltanski PAA JamesEwing 9

Filling the vast Wade Thompson Drill Hall, No Man’s Land is Christian Boltanski’s most ambitious project in the United States to date. This monumental work explores the signature motifs of the artist’s forty-year career - individuality, anonymity, life and death - in an immersive landscape that is both powerful and infernal. Incorporating 30 tons of discarded clothing, a 60-foot crane and the sound of human heartbeats, the installation offers an unforgettable and deeply moving experience by one of today’s most important artists

The Archives du c’ur

Since 2005 Christian Boltanski has recorded people’s heartbeats from around the world. A truly universal project, these Archives du coeur will be kept sheltered from the effects of time on the Japanese island of Teshima, in the Inland Seto Sea, made available by a philanthropist. Like many of Christian Boltanski’s works, such as Les 6000 Suisses Morts (‘The 6000 Dead Swiss’) or Les Annuaires, a collection of telephone books from the entire world over, these archives result from a multitude of individuals drawn out of their anonymity by the force of a symbolic and artistic evocation. Confronting the passage of time, the din of great history and crowds of solitary individuals, they exorcise the brutal contradiction assailing each individual, threatened in his fundamental singleness by his passing and an unavoidable oblivion.

The heart, symbol of life, becomes the universal mediation bringing together all men and which ‘photographs’, in a matter of speaking, each individual. Through Teshima - the island where the hearts of all humankind are brought together - Christian Boltanski wishes to create a modern myth. Facing the unavoidable passage of time, Christian Boltanski escapes from the traditional Western means of transmission, which is more attached to the object as a relic, to create in the inspiration of Eastern tradition, which prefers passing on knowledge by legends and myths.

In this sense, with the Archives du c’ur, Christian Boltanski offers us the opportunity to participate in the creation of a living, resolutely modern legend. It is this new symbolic function of art that the visitors to the Grand Palais exhibition are called to discover, in this way participating in the most ambitious of the artist’s creative works.

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