Jumblist Massive

Jumblist Massive

>> I was struck today by a grainy newspaper image of the French artist Christian Boltanski's new awe-inspiring installation 'Personnes' as part of the Monumenta series held in the Grand Palais in Paris.  Without even reading the article, I actually wanted to cry a little at how the clothes arranged in uniform remembrance grave formations looked like the clothes of the dead; wrinkled, lived in, maybe even smelling a little.  It's weird that in a jumble sale context, this would ostensibly be an opportunity to rifle through and see what gems can dig out but in these uniform guarded squares and a gigantic landfill pile in the middle, I couldn't imagine wanting to touch the clothes at all.  I'm ill-equipped to analyse Boltanski's work but I do thank him for using clothes as an artefact of memory, of sentimentality and as things that could be intrinsic parts of a person. 

I'm simultaneously bemused and slightly saddened though that the next time I'm in the Grand Palais in March, all of this will be gone and in its place will be whatever runway setup Chanel decides upon for their A/W 10-11 show…

Bolt3

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(Images from a selection on Flickr)

62 comments

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  1. Annie

    2010-01-17 at 9:10 PM

    But… chanel runways are an event in themselves. Blasphemy, I know, but in recent years I’ve been lookign forward to that more than the clothes and HOW will Karl top Lily Allen + a farm + a threesome involving Lara Stone?????

  2. susie_bubble

    2010-01-17 at 9:12 PM

    ^Yes they are an event but maybe not quite as moving as Boltanski’s work…I am a little sad that it can’t stay there for longer…but of course grateful that I can go see a Chanel show too…

  3. NathalieS

    2010-01-17 at 9:38 PM

    luv this artist!:)
    you are from paris?
    http://nboriginal.blogspot.com/

  4. Claire

    2010-01-17 at 10:15 PM

    Oo. Shivers and shudders.

  5. Ally

    2010-01-17 at 10:43 PM

    Wow, Christian Boltanski is one of my favourite artists and this work is superb. I wish I could see it in person too, I’ve only seen one of his exhibitions in real life and it was such a moving experience. The photos are always stunning, but his installations are really at their best when you can stand in the space, feel the weight of the objects, be engulfed by the light and the architecture. Thanks for posting this Susie!

  6. abigail

    2010-01-17 at 10:49 PM

    beautiful/thought provoking ~ i’m a bit jealous that i’m not there as well ~ thank u for sharing this, susie ~~~

  7. paula

    2010-01-17 at 11:18 PM

    it ‘s impresionant!

  8. The Style Curator

    2010-01-17 at 11:43 PM
  9. Winnie

    2010-01-18 at 12:08 AM

    Wow what powerful images, so eerie and sad. Reminds me of some very sombre history lessons at school. Back in my days of Art History, I would have jumped at the chance to write about this in an essay!

  10. Joy D.

    2010-01-18 at 12:14 AM

    This looks magnificent, it is probably better in person.
    JD
    iplayfaves.blogspot.com

  11. joey maighread

    2010-01-18 at 12:34 AM

    omg! we have one of those, too. peep the monumenta in the LBC…
    http://limbicfire.blogspot.com/2010/01/pile-long-beachs-monumenta.html

  12. cheap ugg boots

    2010-01-18 at 1:00 AM

    awful,like a rubbish hill

  13. Christa

    2010-01-18 at 1:13 AM

    Fast fashion commentary? “Flash and trash”
    Thanks for sharing!

  14. Anna

    2010-01-18 at 1:35 AM

    And me without a sled!

  15. Erica

    2010-01-18 at 2:13 AM

    it would be lovely to see this in person!
    -Erica
    http://allaboutitt.blogspot.com/

  16. kurarin

    2010-01-18 at 3:12 AM

    thank you for the heads up. it is a work of beauty. i wish i could be there to see it.

  17. fadetoblack

    2010-01-18 at 4:56 AM

    I looked at the images before reading what you wrote and i thought the same thing… reminded me of a graveyard… wasn’t speaking “happy” to me at all…..
    I mean like you said they are worn, and faded no bright colors/life anywhere…
    thanks for posting though… very interesting to say the least!

  18. Kamicha

    2010-01-18 at 6:35 AM

    I haven’t had an opportunity to see Boltanski’s work in real life, but that one is impressive.
    It reminds me distantly about FInnish artist Kaarina Kaikkonen, but the connectivity comes from material of this particular installation, Kaarina is using used clothes in her installations, too. From small scale sculptures
    http://www.skenet.fi/php/image.php?id=5271
    http://www.environmentalart.net/kaikkonen/queen3.jpg
    http://www.environmentalart.net/valo/kaikkonen/kaikkonenm7.jpg (well, relatively small)
    to large scale installations. This open air installation was entirely made of men’s jackets: http://www.arkitera.com/UserFiles/Image/article/babaminceketleri/01.jpg
    That one gave me very melancholic mood, too… …like all the invisible, nameless work for this society would have been made visible for a brief while…
    Just thought you might enjoy!

  19. jenna

    2010-01-18 at 8:22 AM

    its almost rather depressing. interesting.

  20. Polo Jeans Co

    2010-01-18 at 10:00 AM

    Such a simple idea yet so effective

  21. Helen

    2010-01-18 at 11:38 AM

    reminds me of the holocaust 🙁
    that said i appreciate it’s emotional effect

  22. Brigadeiro

    2010-01-18 at 11:50 AM

    Unbelievable!

  23. zenobie

    2010-01-18 at 12:23 PM

    I’m defiantly feeling the sad/depressing quality people are talking about here, as if these clothes have once been worn, loved and now discarded like old souls. I don’t know why but I always seem to attribute human qualities to inanimate objects, perhaps the reason why I am such a hoarder.

  24. Snappylifestyle

    2010-01-18 at 3:59 PM

    Wow….maybe all the clothes could be donated to Haiti
    xsnappy
    http://snappylifestyle.blogspot.com/

  25. Nina

    2010-01-18 at 4:26 PM

    @snappy That’s exactly what I thought of when I saw this set of pictures. Moving.
    watermelonfeet.blogspot.com

  26. koko

    2010-01-18 at 4:41 PM

    Without having read the article and without knowing anything about the concept behind the installation, the first thought that came to mind was the environmental effect of our shopaholic tendencies. I really ought to be better about (not) amassing clothes, supporting consignment shops, finding ways to recycle old clothes – before it’s too late and I wake up in a Wall-E type world with mountains of landfills.
    On a cheerier note, you’re going to the Chanel show?! Lucky duck!!!

  27. luxirare

    2010-01-18 at 5:19 PM

    I want to tear up a little just looking at the photos, if I was there I may just turn into a big crybaby.

  28. All Women Stalker

    2010-01-18 at 5:44 PM

    Whoa I’d have loved to see this in person. What was the concept about?

  29. Denise @ Swelle

    2010-01-18 at 6:07 PM

    You didn’t mention his inspiration for this so I can only assume it’s my bedroom. Actually, I did just read the link and it’s an installation that I’m sure if I saw in person would be quite overwhelming.
    His upcoming heartbeats project sounds intriguing, it makes me uneasy to think about the recorded heartbeats from all kinds of people. I’m actually a bit breathless just contemplating hearing it!

  30. tiffanyssmallworld

    2010-01-18 at 8:17 PM

    I am impress!very artistic!
    http://tiffanyssmallworld.blogspot.com/

  31. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  32. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  33. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  34. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  35. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  36. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  37. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  38. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  39. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  40. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  41. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  42. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  43. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  44. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  45. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  46. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  47. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  48. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  49. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  50. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  51. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  52. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  53. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  54. layers&swathes

    2010-01-18 at 10:12 PM

    Seriously reminds me of that 90’s Mark Borthwick image with Chloe Sevigny wearing that half on/half off silver dress and a n adorable dodgy bowl cut..
    http://layersandswathes.wordpress.com

  55. SwanDiamondRose

    2010-01-19 at 5:33 AM

    wow wow wow. not awesome just awe. this is so perfect for right now.

  56. indie

    2010-01-19 at 4:20 PM

    Just read about this in the paper this morning and was impressed!

  57. Diana

    2010-01-19 at 4:44 PM

    For some reason, this installation makes me think about how clothing is becoming more and more disposable, and how cheap clothing made in sweatshops are filling up our landfills. I guess art is open to many different interpretations.

  58. Iron Chic

    2010-01-19 at 11:48 PM

    This looks like the warehouse where I pick for vintage clothing….piles and piles of unwanted cheap clothing.
    It gives me anxiety.

  59. tea

    2010-01-21 at 12:31 AM

    Gee, that’s a huge pile of clothes

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