Monuments, 2018

Author: Christian Boltanski


Three photographs in black and white, 38 photographs in colour, 25 light bulbs and electric wire.

In this series of lost and found photographs combined with sources of light, the artist explores loss and death perceived through memory. With these installations, he intends to convey to us the fleeting nature of life and awaken collective conscience about the dead. Childhood here represents temporality and irretrievable loss recovered through memory.

In these lighted installations in the form of an altar, he observes the construction and representation of memory. Around each photograph, he has installed small electric lights as if they were votive candles. Monuments powerfully conveys a feeling of human loss and collective trauma.

Inspired by primitive religious architecture such as pyramids, mastabas, altars and steles, they are created using old elements that the artist found in his workshop.

The first “monuments” are based on fragments of photos, paintings and light bulbs reused from the artist's previous works. It is recycled nature, which is once again becoming a vocabulary close to his early works.