Art, Philosophy, Photography

364 Dead Swiss

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Christian Boltanski – 364 Dead Swiss (1990)
Exhibited as part of the ‘Between  Memory and Archive’ Exhibition at the Berardo Museum in Lisbon

I’ve been to see this installation by Christian Boltanski at the Berardo museum twice in the last week, and is only the second piece of his work I’ve actually seen face-to-face. The other occasion was twenty years ago at the old Tate (before the Tate Modern). I don’t remember the title of that work, only that it was composed of several enlarged blurry sepia photographs of children hung on the wall of the gallery, with each having a small angle-poise lamp positioned in front. The cables from these lamps spilled down like a weird collection of tentacles which tangled into one another on the floor. A friend had told me of how powerful this piece had been for him, so I was intrigued to see it for myself. I remember finding the collection of anonymous blurred photographs very melancholic, and it immediately brought to mind a holocaust exhibit or the collection of documentary photographs taken of doomed political prisoners in Cambodia in the 1970s. But there is nothing Continue reading

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