[1944 - ]

Reliquary (the Feast of Pourim) [1990]

  • photograph, light bulb, electric wire, biscuit can, net 339.0×296.0×88.0cm

Rust-covered tin biscuit cans have been arranged in a step-like formation, with a lightbulb above each level illuminating portrait photographs of innocentlooking children. The work has an ambience very like that of a church altar. The title of this work is Reliquary (The Feast of Pourim). The feast of Pourim originates in an old testament story of an escape by Jewish people from a massacre, but it also recalls horrific memories of the Holocaust (the genocide of Jewish people by Nazi Germany). We have no way of knowing the identity of the children in the photographs, whether they are still alive or if they are dead. Regardless, the past as we remember it no longer exists. Even now, as you are reading these words, time passes, becomes the past—and disappears. The artist behind the present work, Christian Boltanski, has said, “Every day, we are dying.”

Traps 1970/71 [1970-71]

  • razor, needle, fabric, wood, glass 39.5×63.5×12.0cm

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