Christian Boltanski - Kaddish (published in 1998) - Objects confiscated by Nazis, some found in sewers, deposited in the Central Jewish Museum, Prague
“The banal tenor and specificity of context in Boltanski’s still-lifes introduce an interesting dialogue as the tonality and depth, or lack thereof, in his photographs render what are reasonably delicate subjects, into mute and objectified echos from a nonspecific time or place. Boltanski’s infatuation with confiscated war relics, (post-) belongings and objet trouvé presented throughout his tetrad make reference to the anonymity and translucence of memory, the interstitial space between sentimentality and indifference, and ultimately focus on transience, singularity and, often forced, despondency.
Having absented himself from formal education in his preteens, Boltanski moved from rudimentary sculpture, drawing and painting to installations of pensive and introspective sculptural, filmic, and photographic works, questioning his own substance and significance in relation to memory, lineage and cultural praxis.
When Boltanski’s work seems to display a profound melancholy or contemplation on histories past, it is the artist who abruptly categorizes his works as quotidian debris, coincidence or ‘stupid’ objects – stating that that it is ‘simply much easier to be dead, than to be alive.’”