Christian Boltanski — Lifetime

Overview

This exhibition is among the largest retrospectives ever held in Japan of the work of Christian Boltanski, one of the most prominent contemporary artists, and encompasses work from throughout his career. After making short films in the late 1960s, Boltanski worked extensively with photography in the 1970s, gaining attention for works dealing with his own memories and those of others. In the 1980s, Boltanski began producing installations utilizing light and exploring religious themes, for which he earned international acclaim. Since then, he has continued producing and exhibiting works worldwide with the themes of history, memory, and the vestiges of human existence. While looking back at a variety of his efforts over the past 50 years, this retrospective was designed by Boltanski, who has described himself as “a spatial artist,” as an installation for this specific venue.
*There is a work which includes "hay" as materials in this exhibition. Please be aware of this for those who have allergies.

Date June 12 (Wed.) - September 2 (Mon.), 2019
Closed on Tuesdays
Opening Hours 10:00-18:00
* Fridays and Saturdays, June: 10:00-20:00
* Fridays and Saturdays, July-August: 10:00-21:00
(Last admission 30 minutes before closing)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo (Kokuritsu-Shin-Bijutsukan),
Special Exhibition Gallery 2E
7-22-2 Roppongi, Minato-ku, Tokyo 106-8558
Organized by The National Art Center, Tokyo; The Asahi Shimbun
With the support of Ambassade de France / Institut français du Japon
Cooperated by agnès b. Japan Inc.

beyond2020

Admission(tax included)
General 1,600 yen (Adults), 1,200 yen (College students), 800 yen (High school students)
Advance / Group 1,400 yen (Adults), 1,000 yen (College students), 600 yen (High school students)
  • Visitors who are junior high school students or younger will be admitted for free.
  • Disabled persons (along with one assistant) will be admitted for free upon presenting the Disabled Person’s Booklet or an equivalent form of government-issued ID.
  • Advance tickets on sale from March 16 (Sat.), 2019 – June 11 (Thu.). (Sold at the National Art Center, Tokyo only until June 10 (Mon.), 2019)
  • Tickets, both Advance and General, are available through the National Art Center, Tokyo (open days only) and online. Service charges may apply (These services are only available in Japanese.)
  • Group tickets (for groups of a minimum of 20 people) can only be purchased at the National Art Center, Tokyo.
  • Reduction (100 yen off) applies to visitors who present the ticket stub of a concurrent exhibition at The National Art Center, Tokyo; Suntory Museum of Art; or Mori Art Museum (Art Triangle Roppongi).
  • Students, faculty and staff, of “Campus Members”, can apply for group discounts.
  • Credit card (UC, Master Card, VISA, JCB, AMEX, Diners Club, DISCOVER) , e-cash (Suica, PASMO, ICOCA, etc.), iD, J-Debit and Union Pay are available for purchasing tickets.
Inquiries +81(0)3-5777-8600 (Hello Dial)

Artist Profile

CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI

Boltanski was born in Paris in 1944 . He released his first short film in 1968, and in 1972 participated in the international exhibition Documenta in Kassel, Germany. Since then he has exhibited works in many places around the world. Since the 1990s, he has produced many large-scale installations. Boltanski held his first Japanese solo exhibition at ICA, Nagoya and Art Tower Mito in 1990 and 1991, and since then has been highly active in Japan, taking part in the first and successive editions of the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale (Niigata), and opening the permanent installation Les Archives du Cœur on the island of Teshima when the Setouchi Triennale (Kagawa) was held there in 2010. He was awarded the Kaiser Ring Prize, Germany in 2001 and the Japanese Praemium Imperiale (awarded in honor of the late Prince Takamatsu) in 2006. Boltanski is known as one of France’s preeminent contemporary artists.

Exhibition Highlights

Among the largest Boltanski retrospectives ever held in Japan

Boltanski has been internationally active since the 1970s and has exhibited extensively in Japan, including participating in the Echigo-Tsumari Art Triennale and the Setouchi Triennale. He has held solo exhibitions in Japan at ICA, Nagoya and Art Tower Mito (1990-91) and the Tokyo Metropolitan Teien Art Museum (2016). Tracing his activities over the past 50 years, this is among the largest retrospectives held in Japan thus far.

Features a wide variety of works

Boltanski has used a variety of methods to address themes such as collective and personal memory, religion, and death. After debuting with short films in the 1960s, he went on to work with a wide range of media including photography, books, and everyday objects. In recent years, he has been producing works without enduring physical form, which address the theme of narratives handed down from person to person. This exhibition will introduce the diverse world of his art with a scheduled total of 46 pieces, including his latest work.

Installation designed by the artist

Boltanski has described himself as a “spatial artist,” and speaks of “presenting an exhibition as a single work of art.” This retrospective will be arranged not in chronological order, but as a single large-scale installation combining individual works in various ways. Visitors are invited to view the exhibition with the map distributed at the venue.

Works

1. Réserve Canada

This work, in which the wall is covered with old clothing, was first produced in Canada. The title alludes to both disappearance and the need for memory. The clothing, clinging from the top to the bottom of the wall in thick layers, evokes the body only to indicate its absence. With the enormous quantity of discarded clothing, Boltanski conveys the staggering number of individuals involved.

2. Monument

Here, Boltanski takes photographic portraits used in past works and reconfigures them in altar-like assemblages. Illuminated by light bulbs, the arrangements of children’s photographs take on the atmosphere of religious icons.

3. Ombres: L' Ange

Shadows are cast in the venue, immersing the viewer in a fantastical realm. The image of angels dancing is within the lineage of the “dance of death” as an enduring theme in Western art since the Middle Ages.

4. Crépuscule

This work was first shown in São Paulo in 2015. In this exhibition, three light bulbs are extinguished every day until none are left on the last day. The gradually disappearing light conveys the inevitability of death as part of life.

5. Terril

The French word terril refers to the heaps of discarded stone that are created in the process of digging a coal mine. In 2015, Boltanski made this work for an exhibit at Grand-Hornu, an old coal-mining complex that was built in the Borinage region of Belgium in 1810. The mountain, an accumulation of a huge quantity of black clothes, symbolizes the existence of the numerous people who worked in the mine while at the same time suggesting the transient nature of individuality and memory.

6. Misterios

This three-channel video installation shows footage shot in Patagonia, a remote region of South America. Boltanski collaborated with a local sound engineer to create huge metal horns that sound like whale calls when the wind blows through them, seeking to communicate with whales, which in Patagonia are believed to know the origins of the world. The artist explores these origins by conversing with whales through haunting metallic sounds.

Related Events

<Artist Talk>

Speaker Christian Boltanski
Date and time Jun. 12 (Wed.), 2019 13:00-14:30 (doors open at 12:30)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo, 3F Auditorium
Capacity Limited to 260, REGISTRATION REQUIRED
*Details about how to register will be listed on the Exhibition Website. Both the Exhibition Website and the registration process are in Japanese only and available only inside Japan.

*French/Japanese consecutive interpretation only.
*Admission is free but an exhibition ticket for this exhibition is required (discounted ticket accepted).
*Time and content may change without prior notice

<Lecture>

Speaker Hidehiko Yuzawa (Professor of French Literature at the Faculty of Letters, Meiji Gakuin University)
Date and time Jul. 27 (Sat.), 2019 14:00-15:30 (doors open at 13:30)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo, 3F Auditorium
Capacity Limited to 260

*Admission is free but an exhibition ticket for this exhibition is required (discounted ticket accepted).
*No registration required, first-come first-served basis.
*Lecture held in Japanese only.
*Time and content may change without prior notice

<Lectures by the exhibition curator>

Dates/times & Venues Jun. 19 (Wed.), 2019 14:00-14:30, @The National Art Center, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E (assemble at the Exhibition Gallery entrance)
Jul. 12 (Fri.), 2019 19:00-19:30, @The National Art Center, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E(assemble at cat.42Terril inside of the Exhibition Gallery)
Jul. 31 (Wed.), 2019 14:00-14:30, @The National Art Center, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E(assemble at cat.42Terril inside of the Exhibition Gallery)
Aug. 19 (Mon.), 2019 14:00-14:30, @The National Art Center, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E (assemble at cat.42Terril inside of the Exhibition Gallery)
Aug. 21 (Wed.), 2019 14:00-14:30, @The National Art Center, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E (assemble at cat.42Terril inside of the Exhibition Gallery)
Aug. 23 (Fri.), 2019 19:00-19:30, @The National Art Center, Tokyo, Special Exhibition Gallery 2E (assemble at cat.42Terril inside of the Exhibition Gallery)

*Admission is free but an exhibition ticket for this exhibition is required (discounted ticket accepted).
*Lectures held in Japanese only.
*Time and content may change without prior notice.

Screening of ”Les vies possibles de Christian Boltanski”

Throughout the ”Christian Boltanski — Lifetime” exhibition, this movie introducing the many activities of Christian Boltanski will be on screen.

Dates & Times June 12 (Wed.), 2019 - September 2 (Mon.), 2019, during NACT open hours (open days only)
Venue The National Art Center, Tokyo B1F rest area

*Duration 52 minutes (Movie on loop until closing time)
*Free, no ticket needed.
*Time and content may change without prior notice

<Pop-up shop celebrating the opening of this exhibition>

Dates & Times June 4 (Tue)-August 5 (Mon)
Venue agnès b. Aoyama Shop B1F, 5−7−25, Minato-ku, Minami Aoyama, Tokyo *NOT held at the National Art Center, Tokyo

Release PDF (Japanese Only)

Touring Information

Osaka: The National Museum of Art, Osaka; February 9 (Sat.), 2019 - May 6 (Mon.), 2019
Nagasaki: Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum; October 18 (Fri.), 2019 - January 5 (Sun.), 2020

Related Exhibition:CHRISTIAN BOLTANSKI ANIMITAS II
June 13 (Thu.), 2019 - November 17 (Sun.), 2019  ESPACE LOUIS VUITTON TOKYO
http://www.espacelouisvuittontokyo.com/