Filled With Meaning
Annie Block, Mark McMenamin, and Meghan Edwards -- Interior Design, 4/1/2010 12:00:00 AM
Seeing the empty drill hall at the Park Avenue Armory in New York is awe-inspiring in itself. Now imagine the 55,000-square-foot column-free space appointed with 45 neat piles of secondhand clothing, demarcated by iron posts, and a 66-foot-long partition, built from biscuit tins, while the sound of amplified human heartbeats reverberates throughout.
That's precisely what you'll experience if you walk into the landmark building from May 14 to June 13, once Christian Boltanski installs No Man's Land, his largest U.S. project to date. Works by Boltanksi, who will represent France at 2011's Biennale di Venezia, explore memory and loss, individuality and anonymity, contemplation and emotion.
A recent installation at the Grand Palais in Paris shared the same components as No Man's Land, but the latter will ultimately be quite different due to site characteristics. The sunlight streaming through the domed conservatory roof of the Grand Palais, for instance, contrasts sharply with the darkness of the drill hall, where fluorescent lamps will spotlight the piles of clothing. For a third iteration of the installation, visit Milan's Hangar Bicocca, a converted warehouse, this summer.
From top: A Christian Boltanski installation recently occupied the Grand Palais in Paris. At a New Jersey warehouse to select used clothing for the installation.