About the Exhibition

Mysteries, by Christian Boltanski


Closed Began 13 SEPTEMBER 2017 Ended 10 DECEMBER 2017

  • Number of Works 2
  • Room Room 39 "Sala 39 y 40" (first floor)

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Mysteries (2017)
God is the Master of Time
C. B.
Christian Boltanski’s interventions redefine the natural universe, in the sense that they understand the world’s potential as an incipient action, waiting to be brought forth. His installations demonstrate a will to take perception back to the source of the myth – to the indiscernible point in which nature and human activity unite – thus liberating it from the path established by history. He proposes a detour in the course of things, towards the intersection where myth is established: the point of origin. His instrument is sound, the place where the ‘human’ at its most primal is inextricably linked with nature. However, in Mysteries, nature itself speaks directly. The wind-activated installation of horns in a desolate location on the coast of Chubut, in Argentine Patagonia, replicates the ancient song of the whales. It is a brutal presence that fills the sound space. The real-time recording presented in the Museum invokes an ancient dimension, prior to the world as we know it. Boltanski’s art restores the original dawn, like a warning on the place of human development in the course of time, a period that is perhaps in its death rattle.

La traversée de la vie (2015)
Time and truth have been Boltanksi’s constant conceptual companions: a preoccupation with the fleeting nature of events and the storyline that confers meaning to our lives. Transforming these into a narrative, they become condensed forms, restricted in his artwork to a minimum of material elements. With his series of post-war photographs of an anonymous family printed onto translucent fabrics hung from the ceiling, he encourages a reflection on the historical tragedy that devastated the century, emphasizing the fragility of memory that dissolves with time, to the point of vanishing. If there is a means of reparation, it is that time takes charge of wearing down the traces tossed out by life, making them abstract. Two neon signs with the texts Departure and Arrival define the endpoints of the arc in which events take place, in a synthesis – no less substantial for its subtlety – of the brevity of existence.

Andrés Duprat
Director of the National Museum of Fine Arts

Organized jointly with BIENALSUR, 1st Contemporary Art Biennial of South America organized by the National University of Tres de Febrero (UNTREF) of the Argentine Republic. The exhibition has the support of the Embassy of France in Argentina, the Institut Français d'Argentine and the Alliance Française in Buenos Aires, and the sponsorship of Telefónica Foundation.