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27 Jul 2017

Christian Boltanski: Anime. Di luogo in luogo

Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna

Reviewed by Vera Wilde

Darkness and a heartbeat enfold. A bare bulb pulses, not illuminating pictures tiling four walls. They glitter, black mirrors of darkness.

In the many-roomed exhibit beyond, grainy black-and-white photos invoke Holocaust-era children, families, and the faces of ghosts. Some float, hanging on huge linen sheets that feel rougher than they look, like skins on the starving.

A wall-sized film projection of tinkling bells shaped like toy flowers dominates a large side-room. The bells complement a sweet-smelling hay floor, reminiscent of killing fields but with sound commemorating decay too distant to stink. In a smaller side-room, carts full of clean, quality clothing suggest massive loss amid order.

In the middle of the spacious central room gleams an enormous pile of gold shit: trauma changes veneer, not essence, with time. The heartbeat that saw you in, sees you out, an ode to continuing life.

Exhibition Christian Boltanski: Anime. Di luogo in luogo link
Start date 26 Jun 2017
End date 12 Nov 2017
Presenter Museo d'Arte Moderna di Bologna link
Venue Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14, Bologna, ITA map
Image Installation view, Christian Boltanski: Anime. Di luogo in luogo, courtesy of the Museum of Modern Art, Bologna

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Reviews by Vera Wilde


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