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Christian Boltanski \ Éphémères

Updated: May 6, 2020

French artist Christian Boltanski believes that while human memories might prove to be fragile, they are still filled with truthful yet unique values. Because of this he chooses to utilise everyday objects as the main creative components in the construction of his archives of humanity. Through his use of installation, moving image, audio and even shadow theatres, his installations seek to evoke emotions within the the spectator on a visual, aural, and psychological level. Furthermore, his works allow the spectator to question the unpredictable encounters and experiences of individuals in daily and historical contexts.

Éphémères, which means Mayflies, is an installation that touches on the significant themes of the transience and fragility of human existence, which is centred in this hypnotic moving image and sculptural installation. Long pieces of fabric veils suspended from the ceiling onto which is projected the frantic, luminescent winged movements of the titular insect which is known to have with the shortest lifespan in the evolutionary kingdom. I really like the use of the gauze like fabric, I think the ephemeral and transitory nature and the constant movement from the perpetual passing, is an interesting effect and allows for spectator interaction as they then become part of the installation - this is something I would like to test with my own work.

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