As part of the Fondation Louis Vuitton's "Hors-les-murs" programme, the Espace Louis Vuitton Tokyo opens a new exhibition dedicated to French artist Christian Boltanski.
After presenting Animitas (2014) and Animitas (Blanc) (2017) at Espace Louis Vuitton München in 2017, the Fondation is honoured to show the two last chapters of the Animitas series.
The two films, Animitas (La forêt des murmures) and Animitas (Mères mortes), are part of one of the artist’s most ambitious recent projects. Paying tribute to small roadside altars honouring the dead, Animitas is initially an outdoor installation within expanses of secluded landscapes which consists of 300 Japanese bells on slender stalks, echoing the configuration of the stars on the night of Boltanski’s birth: September 6, 1944. The first version of the installation was set in the most arid desert of Atacama (Chile), repeating the celestial archway as seen in the Southern Hemisphere on that date. The same configuration was later reinterpreted on three other sites: on the island of Teshima in Japan (La forêt des murmures, 2016), on Quebec’s Île d’Orléans (Blanc, 2017), and near the Dead Sea in Israel (Mères mortes, in the fall of 2017). Doomed to disappear with time, these installations blend Boltanski’s personal history with the stories of the places themselves, and thereby with those of thousands of souls. The video of each installation of Animitas, filmed in a single shot from sunrise to sunset, is presented in conjunction with a grass and flower bed that naturally evolves with the passage of time and people over the course of the exhibition, while the bells’ gentle tinkling evokes, according to the artist himself, “the music of the stars and the voices of the floating souls”.
Anchored in an existential relationship with the world, Boltanski’s oeuvre is a combination of Minimalism and Expressionism. His austere installations speak to the precarious nature of human existence, forgetfulness, loss, the fragility of memory and the passage of time, all in works of universal expression designed to be understood by everyone.