In Les Écoliers (The Schoolchildren) by Christian Boltanski, the artist provides detailed plans for photographing a class of school pupils.Boltanski in his works often fits photographs, dealing with the topic of monitoring traces of lives of people who would otherwise be lost and forgotten.Upon completion of the exhibit at large, the photos will be distributed to the students and their families.
Christian Boltanski (born 1944) is a French sculptor, photographer, painter and film maker.
In 1986, Boltanski began creating mixed media/materials installations with light as essential concept. Tin boxes, altar-like construction of framed and manipulated photographs (e.g. Chases School, 1986–1987), photographs of Jewish schoolchildren taken in Vienna in 1931, used as a forceful reminder of mass murder of Jews by the Nazis, all those elements and materials used in his work are used in order to represent deep contemplation regarding reconstruction of past. While creating Reserve (exhibition at Basel, Museum Gegenwartskunst, 1989), Boltanski filled rooms and corridors with worn clothing items as a way of inciting profound sensation of human tragedy at concentration camps. As in his previous works, objects serve as relentless reminders of human experience and suffering.His piece, Monument (Odessa), uses six photographs of Jewish students in 1939 and lights to resemble Yahrzeit candles to honor and remember the dead. "My work is about the fact of dying, but it's not about the Holocaust itself."
Additionally, his enormous installation titled No Man's Land (2010) at the Park Avenue Armory in New York, is a great example of how his constructions and installations trace the lives of the lost and forgotten. Christian Boltanski has participated in over 150 art exhibitions throughout the world.Among others, he had solo exhibitions at the New Museum (1988), the Kunstmuseum Liechtenstein, Magasin 3 in Stockholm, the La Maison Rouge gallery, Institut Mathildenhöhe, the Kewenig Galerie, The Musée d'Art et d'Histoire du Judaïsme and many others.
This instruction will be interpreted by students of the School of Fine Arts in Split, led by Neli Ruzic and students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Split, led by Viktor Popovic.
Photo documentation: Darko Škrobonja i Domina Bilač