- Exhibition in Valencia.From the dead
We are in the gloom of the anthology that the Pompidou Center dedicates to Christian Boltanski. We wander through the labyrinth after crossing a string curtain in which photographs of Boltanski are projected in an endless loop. All in black, with his hands on his back, Boltanski wanders through Las miraradas (2011), large fabrics with printed faces through which he can circulate. «They are like ghosts. I believe in spirits a lot , ”he says. We sat on the only bench, backlit by a storm sky that blurs the Sacré-Coeur.A retrospective is the album of a life? This place is like the churches in Spain. It was very sunny outside. You enter a shady place and there is a man with his arms crossed. Although I am not a believer, something happens. You sit 10 minutes reflecting, absorbed. And then you get fed up, go out and eat at a restaurant in the sun. For me, an exhibition is a bit like this: asking questions and, above all, not giving answers. I am horrified by the people who have the answers. Are we facing relics? No, they are not relics. It is knowledge. Faire de temps (Make your time) is called the sample. Why? I don't know if in Spanish it has the same double meaning as in French. "He made his time" is how I am already old, c'est fini. As we would say of an old kitchen utensil, he made his time. But it is also manufacturing your time, I think we all manufacture our time. Perfect for a retrospective. Yes, in both meanings. I have made my time. It is normal at my age, 75 years. And at the same time, during all these years, I have made my time. Does a retrospective always have to be nostalgic? This is a true false retrospective. It is a single work with elements sometimes recent and other, old. The first room has the oldest work but it is not a chronological account and there are no labels that say 1980, 1990. It should be seen as a unique work. As there are no posters, the visitor receives a map at the entrance. As on a trip. Exactly. Life is a journey with a departure and an arrival. How has your trip been? I have had a very happy life. A life filmed by a collector who wanted to buy his ashes and agreed to pay him a per diem for ever ... Yes, You forget about it. Because a long time ago, 10 years. They film me from Tasmania. [David Walsh] has thousands of hours about me but he has nothing, because he has no time to look at anything. It is like internet. You type Boltanski and you have thousands of things but you have nothing. Because the more elements you have about something, the less information you have. He has thousands of hours. They are not worth anything. What will he do? When I am dead, I want him to increase speed 5000 times and pass ziuooou, well, fast. And that a key can be pressed and sometimes I will be seen and sometimes not, will his death be filmed? That is what he wants. But I can die off camera. Here or in the street. They only film me in my house. Very Facebook all. Yes. It is a bit like that. But it is also something for me. In my workshop I have a ladder and every year I climb it more and more slowly. It is like watching the passage of time and old age. It is like seeing yourself grow old. Has old age given serenity to your work? One of my latest works, Animitas, is quite serene. [The title comes from the name that Chileans give to small altars raised at the edge of the road, in places where there has been an accident]. I have a friend who told his dying father: dying is like traveling by plane. Before, you are afraid of missing the flight, forgetting the ticket or missing a suitcase. Then you sit, you take off and you are calm. How do you see death? Yes, what kind of death do you want? Slow? And far away? Slow, above all, slow? How would you summarize your life? I tried to understand. But I have not understood. Understand the world, why are we here. There are so many things to understand. Do you miss having faith? I am horrified by people who have the answer in faith. I am close to certain Eastern philosophies and Judaism because it is not necessary to believe in God to be religious. I am half Jewish, half Christian but I feel closer to Judaism. Because to be religious in Judaism is to seek God, not to find him. Have you found him? No. We must not find it. Because he is not there. Light is omnipresent in his work. Light is the symbol of life. Because it can shut down in any second. It's like this tower that looks solid but can collapse at any time. [ Reserve. The Swiss died s (1991)]. It's fragile. It is like ourselves. We have a solid air but we can fall at any moment. You were not schooled. What do you think of the school? I was a teacher for a long time at the School of Fine Arts. I liked it because it is a useless place. Today there are almost no useless places where you can talk for hours about a spot on the ground or the color of the sky. It also has no specific purpose. Normally one studies to be a doctor, or lawyer. In Fine Arts there is no purpose. It is a place where you talk. I had hundreds of students and the vast majority are not artists. But this is not of the least importance. Who do you call a teacher? No one? And you are a teacher of ..? Nobody's? Follow the artistic news, the exhibitions? I've gone to see El Greco. It's very good. Splendid. I was surprised. I did not know that I loved El Greco. It's not like Leonardo's exposition, which is ugly. One knows all the pictures; the drawings cannot be seen because there are many people and instead of the paintings that they have not brought there are some radiographs that have no interest.
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