Boltanski’s “Animitas” Travels to the Venice Bienniale

The installation, which was produced in Chile by Chilean curator Beatriz Bustos O., from BBO Cultural Developments and Fundación Mar Adentro, will be part of the main event of this year's Venice Biennale: "All the World's Futures" curated by Okwui Enwezor with the participation of 136 international artists inaugurating on May 9th.

The installation Animitas, located in the Atacameñan town of Talabre, 60 kms from San Pedro de Atacama, is the 3rd Monument to Humanity by the French artist Christian Boltanski, who also has the Archives du Coeur in the Japanese island of Teshima and another in Tasmania, where his studio in Malakoff, Paris, has been recorded continuously since 2010.

Animitas is composed by hundreds of Japanese bells that are located on the ground in relation to a star map of the night of the artist’s birth. In this distant place, under the huge sky, the bells ring with the wind, a sound that remains even when no one is listening. “All my work is related to the worship of the ancestors, which are also practiced by the inhabitants of this magical place, in this town on the summits of Atacama where today hundreds of bells recreate the music of the dead, the sound of the sky,” says Christian Boltanski.

The installation Animitas in the hills of the Atacameñan community of Talabre

The live projection of this installation was transmitted via streaming to one of the rooms of the National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago, during the exhibition “Almas, Christian Boltanski”, which ran from late October 2014 to early January 2015 and was chosen by the Circle of Art Critics of Chile as the best International Exhibition of 2014. “In order to bring this work to the Venice Biennale, the filming team, Pepe Torres and Francisco Ríos, had to return to Talabre to record a full day of the installation from a fixed plane, in high definition. This film will then be continuously projected in Italy,” explains Beatriz Bustos, who worked with her team BBO Desarrollo Cultural, with the architectural team Amercanda, and with the support of Fundación Mar Adentro, Entel, the National Council for Culture and The Arts of Chile and with the collaboration of the Foundation of Culture and Tourism of San Pedro de Atacama and Foundación Puribeter to implement this grand project.

It is also important to note that the lands where the work was installed were donated by the president of the Atacameñan community of Talabre, Don Sótero Armella, thanks to the support of the mayor of San Pedro de Atacama, Sandra Berna. Members of the community actively participated in the installation process of this work of art.

Animitas, Christian Boltanski