Christian Boltanski, El Caso, Parkett., Zürich. 1989 in the collection of the MOMA Museum of Modern Art NYC
Miniature booklet with 17 photographs,
2 x 3 1/8” (5 x 8 x 0,6 cm)
ring bound with perspex covers and printed title
Ed. 80/XX, signed and numbered (this one is not signed or numbered and might be an artist proof)
Guilty, Not Guilty. Themes central to Boltanski’s oeuvre find devastating expression in this tiny piece of pocket pornography containing images of brutal murder re-photographed by the artist from the Spanish detective magazine El Caso. [Ref. Bob Calle - Christian Boltanski Artist's Books 1969-2007, p.60].
Artists' book featuring 17 b/w photographs held together with two metal rings: "Luxury edition of a booklet with real glossy photographs, small enough to be hidden behind the hand... It pictures the bodies of victims of violent crime. By showing these photographs of half-naked corpses, bought nearer by close-up shots, the artist transforms the viewer into a voyeur who virtually becomes a sadistic partner in the crime." -- from Catalogue: Books, Printed Matter, Ephemera 1966-1991.
"Livres" by Christian Boltanski. Paris / Köln / Frankfurt, France / Germany : AFAA / Jennifer Flay / Walther König / Portikus, 1991.
No. 69 in "Christian Boltanski : Catalogue: Books, Printed Matter, Ephemera, 1966-1991" by Christian Boltanski, Jennifer Flay, Günter Metken. Köln / Frankfurt, Germany : Verlag der Buchhandlung Walther König / Portikus, 1992, pp. 184 - 185.
"Christian Boltanski : Artist's Books 1969 - 2007" by Christian Boltanski, Bob Calle. Paris, France : Éditions 591, 2008, pp. 60.
“There is in the work of the artist something of the high priest and something of the charlatan. Boltanski transforms shards of nothing into art, bits of cardboard, lumps of sugar, old photos, but plays the game of showing us that his transformation is also mere illusion, that this art is also the nothing or next to nothing from which it has sprung.” Didier Semin Parkett No. 22, 1989
Christian Boltanski is a French photographer, sculptor and installation artist (although he refers to himself as a "painter", with regard to his concerns in all media). He is married to the artist Annette Messager, with whom he sometimes collaborates.
Christian Boltanski was born in occupied Paris in 1944 to a Jewish father and a Corsican mother and spent his early years hiding from the Nazis.Christian Boltanksi's artistic work is haunted by the problems of memory and loss and he often seeks to memorialize the anonymous and those who have disappeared.. He is known for a body of work that may be considered a disturbing archive of our social, cultural, ethnic, and personal histories. His death-obsessed creations have earned him an international reputation. He has spent his artistic life working with the most ephemeral of materials -- newspaper clippings, photographs, found snapshots, clothing, candles, light bulbs, old biscuit tins to examine and mark our transitory passing here on earth. Photographs are central to his work, and Boltanski explores the perceived truth of the photograph, how it is often used as a shield against death.
Self-taught, he began painting in 1958, but first came to public attention in the late 1960s with short avant-garde films and with the publication of notebooks in which he came to terms with his Jewish childhood. This focus on real and fictional evidence of his and other people's existence has remained central to his later art.
His works are included in collections of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Missouri; the Mattress Factory, Pennsylvania; the Sintra Museu de Arte Moderna, Portugal; tate Museum, London England; Israel Museum, Jerusalem Israel.His work has been widely exhibited internationally, and he has had exhibitions at such museums as: ARC/ Musée d’art moderne de la ville de Paris, Paris; Centro Gallego de arte contemporanea, Santiago de Compostela; Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna; the Arken Museum for Moderne Kunst, Copenhagen; Museum of Contemporary Art, Helsinki; Villa Medici, Rome; Konsthalle, Malmo; The National Museum of Contemporary Art, Oslo; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Musée de Grenoble; the Stedelijk van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London; the Ydessa Hendeles Foundation, Toronto, and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid. He was a participant in Documenta in 1987 and in 1972, and the Venice Biennale in 1993 and 1986. His exhibitions in the United States have included Lessons of Darkness, which was presented at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, The New Museum, New York, the University Art Museum, Berkeley, as well as The Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver and The Power Plant, Toronto.He has exhibited at numerous other venues as well, including the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Kansas City; the Public Art Fund, and the New York Public Library, New York; and the Contemporary Art Museum, Houston.