The Espace Louis Vuitton München is pleased to announce the opening of its new exhibition dedicated to French
artist Christian Boltanski. This presentation has been produced in the framework of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s
“Hors-les-murs” program, showcasing previously unseen holdings of the Collection at the Espaces Culturels
Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, Munich, Venice and Beijing, thus carrying out the Fondation’s intent to realize international projects and make them accessible to a broader public.
Since 1967, Boltanski has developed an artistic style that embraces writing, film, sculpture and photography.
With a focus on remembrance and time, he works with biographical milestones and references, from
both his own life and the lives of unknown or unidentified persons. Without seeking to supplant historians,
he follows the twisting paths of individual and collective destinies using personal and impersonal
elements of everyday life.
The Espace is honoured to present a selection of works by this leading figure in contemporary art,
considered as France’s most influential living artist. Revolving around two video installations part
of the Collection, Animitas (2014), and Animitas (Blanc) (2017), this new show brings together four
pieces questioning the passing of time and plunging the viewer into a meditative atmosphere.
Animitas is one of the artist’s most ambitious recent projects: creating museum-like expressions within
expanses of desert. Initially, it is an out-of-doors installation which consists of 800 Japanese bells
on slender stalks. The wind bell is a traditional object in Japan, hung from a home’s window frame
or doorframe, accompanied by a small piece of paper bearing a haiku. The first version of this
installation was set in the most arid desert of Atacama (Chile) and echoed the configuration
of the stars as seen in the skies of the Southern Hemisphere on the night of Boltanski’s birth: September 6,
- For the artist, the chiming of the bells evokes “the music of the stars and the voices of the floating
souls”. The same configuration of bells has been reinterpreted at three other sites: on the island of
Teshima in Japan (La forêt des murmures, 2016), then near the Dead Sea (in the fall of 2017); finally,
Animitas was installed on Quebec’s Île d’Orléans, on a white, snow-covered landscape, as portrayed
in Animitas (Blanc). Doomed to disappear with time, this repeated installation blends Boltanski’s
personal history with the stories of the places themselves. Each installation is the subject of a video
consisting of a single shot, from sunrise to sunset. For Espace Louis Vuitton München, Boltanski presents
the films in conjunction with a flower bed and grey, crumpled papers, which evolve with the passage
of time and people over the course of the exhibition.
Between the two Animitas installations presented here, the words Départ and Arrivée glow along
the visitor’s path, summarising what life is according to Boltanski: a departure, an arrival, separated
by the passing time.
About the Artist
Christian Boltanski (b. 1944 in Paris) lives and works in Malakoff (France). Since the 1970s, his work
has been presented in numerous solo and group shows. Over the past year, his solo exhibitions took
place in Amsterdam (the Netherlands), Tokyo (Japan), Edinburgh (UK), Valencia (Spain) or Monterrey
(Mexico). He also participated in group exhibitions in international institutions such as the Jewish
Museum (New York, USA), the Pinchuk Art Centre (Kyiv, Ukraine), the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo, Japan)…
He took over the 2010 edition of Monumenta in Paris (France) and represented France
at the Venice Biennale in 2011. Among other prestigious prizes, he was the recipient of the Kunstpreis
of the Nord/LB, Braunschweig in 2001 and the Praemium Imperiale Award of the Japan Art Association
About the Fondation
The Fondation Louis Vuitton serves the public interest and is exclusively dedicated to contemporary
art and artists, as well as 20th century works to which their inspirations can be traced. The Collection
and the exhibitions it organizes seek to engage a broad public. The building created by architect
Frank Gehry, and already recognized as an emblematic example of 21st century architecture, constitutes
the Fondation’s seminal artistic statement. Since its opening in October 2014, the Fondation has
welcomed more than a million visitors from France and around the world per year. Confirming
the international recognition of its artistic commitment, the exhibition Icons of Modern Art, The Shchukin
Collection received a record-breaking 1.2 million visitors in six months (Oct. 2016-Mar. 2017).
The Fondation Louis Vuitton commits to engage into international initiatives, both at the Fondation
and in partnership with public and private institutions, including other foundations and museums. It is
also responsible for the artistic direction of a specific “Hors-les-murs” program within the Espaces Louis
Vuitton, cultural spaces in Munich, Beijing, Tokyo and Venice, which are exclusively devoted
to exhibitions of works from the Collection. The exhibitions they organize are open to the public free
of charge, and their programs are promoted through specific cultural communication.
Espace Louis Vuitton München
Maximilianstraße 2a, 80539 München
T +49 89 55 89 38 100, firstname.lastname@example.org
Hours: Monday–Friday, noon–7 pm; Saturday, 10 am–6 pm