Christian Boltanski

Paris France 1944, lives and works in Paris

Diese Kinder suchen ihre Eltern (These Schildern are looking for their parents)
1993
53 black and white photographs and small lamps
varying dimensions
1997.CB.04

In his work the French artist Christian Boltanski often uses old documents and photographic portraits.  With his work Boltanski wishes to provide a counterweight to our irrevocable disappearance and oblivion.
In relation to his own Jewish family history, the events of the Second World War play a distinct role.
For Diese Kinder suchen ihre Eltern (These childern are looking for their parents), Boltanksi made use of photographs of German children who became homeless during the war years and for whom, at that time, the Red Cross organized a search operation with pamphlets.  In the installation the pamphlet photographs are illuminated by simple lamps, and the electrical cords run across the portraits like cracks. The children are of his own generation and, despite everything, there is a sense of solidarity with them. And whether they are dead or still alive, they only truly disappear when no one thinks of them anymore.