Quote of Note | Christian Boltanski

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Christian Boltanski’s “No Man’s Land,” installed last year at the Park Avenue Armory in New York (Photo: UnBeige)

“I was asked twice to design Holocaust monuments in Germany. I didn’t want to do them, though I liked my idea. If you make a monument in stone, everyone will soon forget what you have commemorated. The city will pay for the monument in order to forget it. What I wanted to do was to make a monument that would have to be remade each month, using very fragile materials, like the little prayer houses that observant Jews construct for Sukkoth. Of course, the monument would fall down and have to be continually reconstructed. If at any time it disappeared, it would mean that times had changed, and the reasons for its existence were forgotten. The only possible monuments are those that must be continually re-made, that require a continuous engagement, so that people will remember.”

-Artist Christian Boltanski, in a 1992 interview with Leslie Camhi