Christian Boltanski. DOPO

This catalogue is published on the occasion of the exhibition DOPO by Christian Boltanski held at Fondazione Merz from 3rd November 2015 to 31th January 2016.
“Christian Boltanski lays claim to his being an artist of the twentieth century, and indeed all his work takes us into the heart of the contemporary scene. But not the updated and temporary one but the real one made of choices and events that change the meaning of individual anonymous lives that become choral and paradigmatic. It is another way to tell the story that we are. Not the impressive and official one, never that of the winners but the story of all of us, with things desired and also suffered. With minimal language and one not prone to celebration he has succeeded in talking about everything without remaining anchored to anything. There is no elective historical theme but history understood in the sense of long term through which unroll individual lives
whose relics, clothes, photographs, heartbeats, enable us to move constantly from the singular to the general, from before to after, making us recognise ourselves in his story and placing us emphatically before history which normally overlooks the little things, the gestures and resistance, and which instead through Boltanski finds the declination of the detail necessary in order to become legible. It is like watching a film, reading a great novel at the same time, listening to music, watching a play at the theatre. Looking at the work of Boltanski, from the first Boîtes de Biscuits and Vitrines de Référence of 1969 to the recent installations, our every sense is involved and the retinal reaction is but the beginning of a more complex process that sets in motion our references, delves into our memory and discovers extracts of stories, other photographs, forgotten encounters, creating connections and references that move us deeply. […] In accordance with the nature of myth, Boltanski’s tales come from the past and come back all the time trying to include the circularity of an almost Promethean time into linear time of humans. Moving images of immobile eternity. Modified states of perception to celebrate all times and the memory of the world that is reborn with every man. The story of the return, of the persistence and of the after that we all know and which is reborn every time when Boltanski comes back to repeating it. The after must be this. Not the end and nothing more, but the story and another story yet”. (Claudia Gioia)

This book reproduces the photographic documentation of the exhibition and it is enriched by texts by Claudia Gioia (exhibition curator),
Massimo Donà (philosopher), Beatrice Merz.

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