Christian Boltanski (*1944) is a French, self-taught artist who has become known in particular for his work on memory culture and myth-making. He works with the reconstruction of his own past and that of fictional persons or personified objects. For this purpose, pieces of memory are arranged in installations, inventoried, sold, or offered to museums as a fictitious estate. To this end, he also appropriates foreign moments of memory and makes them his own.
He deals with essential questions such as identity and finiteness, forgetting and being forgotten, and the memory value of objects.
Photography occupies a high place in his work, as does shadow puppetry inspired by the dance of death of indigenous peoples. He uses display cases to arrange mementos from a childhood.
His work has been represented several times at Documenta in Kassel and the Venice Biennale, and he has been honored internationally with exhibitions and retrospectives. Boltanski lives and works in Malakoff, south of Paris.