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University of Michigan Museum of Art (UMMA) pres.

Boltanski, Monument to the Lycée Chases

Christian Boltanski was born in Paris in the wake of its liberation from Fascist control. Perhaps as a result of his childhood experiences, he has explored themes of memory, death, and mourning in a variety of media—film, paint, photography, and found objects. His evocative, often ephemeral installations archive and memorialize anonymous individual loss. Monument to the Lycée Chases is part of a series of works Boltanski began in 1987, inspired by a found photograph of the 1931 graduating class from a private Jewish high school in Vienna, Austria. His re-photographed images are mere silhouettes or intimations of corporal presences that together comprise a moving meditation on loss and endurance.  

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