Christian Boltanski is one of the key figures of contemporary creation. The exhibition “Life in the making” is a a vast journey into the heart of his work, his personal history and a half-century of meditations on the role and discourse of the artist in today’s societies. Thirty-five years have gone by since the first exhibition of Christian Boltanski at the Centre Pompidou Paris. Thirty-five years that saw his work transformed in the course of the 1980s when the artist abandoned the taste for archives and inventories that had made him known as one of the major figures in memorial art, and began to develop a work in the form of lessons of darkness and a meditation on death through vast installations and exhibits.
As an archaeologist of his own history and that of everybody else, Boltanski has transformed himself into a “mythologist” in the course of a half-century of creation. From the account of childhood to that of the tales and legends he discovers and reinvents today until the end of the world, Boltanski has sought to shuffle off the self in order to merge into the history of mankind. A vast project if ever there was one, which leads him ever further in search, not of lost time but of unknown lands rich in stories that are being lost in the mists of time.
Christian Boltanski’s work deals with this “space”. Here we realise that time, in all the shapes and forms it takes, is his partner. “Departure” and “Arrival”, like two signs in a train station or a weary fairground, call out visitors as they enter and leave the meanders of the exhibition, no doubt reminding us that art helps to enable the journey and to forget the destination. In this interval, we suggest that it is up to each visitor to know how to take and make “time in the making”.