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Project which is managed by Museo de la Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero (MUNTREF) – originated as a result of a conversation that took place in 2010 in Paris between curator Diana B. Wechsler and the artist, as well as from an exploration of his work, his artistic career, his involvement in permanent collections such as the one in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, and his specific interventions of various spaces and cities.

The conversation between Boltanski and Wechsler gave rise to an invitation to consider an exhibition for MUNTREF and a visit to Buenos Aires. Boltanski’s visit in November 2011 was a “curated visit”. He toured locations which had been selected according to their potential for inspiring ideas for new projects along the lines of what he has been developing in recent years around the concepts of memory and archive.

This visit finally led to a peculiar, procession-like exhibition format, as Boltanski’s works are distributed across different locations: the Buenos Aires suburbs and two paradigmatic quarters of Buenos Aires city – Puerto Madero and San Telmo.

is a project divided into two consecutive phases. The first phase took place between July 8 and the first week of November, with the launch of Les Archives du Coeur, Studio D’Enregistrement, at Tecnópolis. The second phase will expand the project through a multiple, simultaneous and processional exhibition of several Boltanski installations in Buenos Aires. This exhibition will include two new site-specific pieces, created especially for this project.


Christian Boltanski is a modern artist whose work since the 1960s has been deeply focused on identity issues and the peculiar tensions between life and death, which take shape both in his autobiographic pieces and in the sum of other people’s individual stories. Memory and archive are two of the distinguishing traits of his work. Life’s most ephemeral traces, its most trivial hints – such as information found in a phone directory or the hundreds of family pictures that make up each of the anonymous stories populating the world – constitute the raw material of the work of Boltanski, who uses them as testimonials of life, its singularity, and surprisingly, its proximity to the lives of so many others. Between 1969 and 1971, Boltanski devoted himself to reconstruct his childhood through photographs. At the beginning of the 1980s. he moved from autobiography to collective stories, and began to use photographs of anonymous individuals. Core components of his work include extensive repertoires of photographs, stage designs and installations of all types, all of which strive to touch the audience by revealing the unique and still anonymous dimension of human existence.

Based on this artistic groundwork, which cuts across his entire creation, and after visiting several locations during his Buenos Aires sojourn, Boltanski chose to intervene in two places of profound significance to our cultural memory: HOTEL DE LOS INMIGRANTES, a hotel that used to lodge the men and women that came to Argentina by the thousands in the hope of starting a new life, and the former BIBLIOTECA NACIONAL – the National Library -, which was once directed by distinguished intellectuals such as Jorge Luis Borges. In addition, Boltanski’s production will be available at Museo de Arte de la UNTREF (MUNTREF), which will showcase a selection of works previously exhibited at key museums and art centers in Europe and the US, as well as a number of pieces from private collections.

  • 12.10
    Boltanski Buenos Aires Opening Ceremony

    Friday, October 12, Hotel de los Inmigrantes, 1.30 p.m.

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    Youtube Channel

    You can access all our video records of Migrants, Flying Books and Works in our YouTube Channel. Go to Channel Boltanski Buenos Aires