Christian Boltanski was fascinated by personal histories. “What drives me as an artist is that I think everyone is unique, yet everyone disappears so quickly,” he told Tate magazine in 2002. “We hate to see the dead, yet we love them, we appreciate them.” And so he retraced the stories of forgotten souls, arranging found objects and photographs into thought-provoking installations. Boltanski died in July of 2021, at the age of 76, and now three major institutions in his native Paris are celebrating his art and life. At the Centre Pompidou, Boltanski’s conceptual work is featured in three galleries. At the Louvre, his installation Les Archives de Christian Boltanski 1965–1988—a grid wall of 646 tarnished tin biscuit boxes, each holding photographs and documents—fills the Grande Galerie. And at the Palace of Versailles, Boltanski’s sound installation, The Speaking Clock, measures time and mortality in the Royal Chapel. —E.C.
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