Artistic confrontation of great ambition, MONUMENTA invites each year, at the initiative of the Ministry of Culture and Communication, a contemporary artist reappointed international to invest the 13,500 m2 of the Nave du Grand Palais with a masterpiece specially designed for the occasion.

After the success of the first two editions of MONUMENTA entrusted to Anselm Kiefer
in 2007, then to the American sculptor Richard Serra in 2008, which each attracted more
140,000 visitors in five weeks is Christian Boltanski, one of the biggest
the challenge in 2010. The exhibition is co-produced by the Centre national
the Grand Palais and the Reunion of National Museums.
Born in 1944, Christian Boltanski has been developing an international career since the 1970s
which places it at the forefront of contemporary creation. The original installation he proposes
for MONUMENTA 2010 is conceived as a striking experience, both physical and
a moment of spectacular emotion that questions the nature and meaning of
Investing throughout the Nave, it creates a place of visual and sound commemoration
of exceptional density. The work engages a social, spiritual and human reflection on the
life, memory, the irreducible singularity of each existence, but also the presence of the
death, dehumanization of bodies, chance of destiny. At this installation he gives the name
evocative of Persons .
Visual work, but also sound, the original installation made for the Grand Palais
new theme for the artist, who continues his reflection on the limits of humanity and the
essential dimension of remembrance: the question of destiny and the inevitability of death. Conceived
as a unique work, which transforms the entire building by creating a
particularly moving atmosphere, the installation is offered to the visitor as a gigantic
animated painting. The work Persons is a creation with ephemeral character. According to the will of
the artist, the elements that constitute it will be recycled at the end of the exhibition.
The works of Christian Boltanski are addressed to all, they challenge and shake. Under the Nave
of the Grand Palais, the visitor forgets any museum reference, he becomes part of the living scene of
art and memory. The artist, according to Boltanski, is the one who reveals to the spectator a thing
who was already in him, whom he knows deeply; he brings her up to the height of consciousness.”
of remembrance, MONUMENTA 2010 questions the meaning of human destiny and affirms
the place given to everyone in the collective memory.
As part of MONUMENTA, Christian Boltanski continues to collect recordings of
heart beats that he has engaged for the realization of a «Heart Archive». The
visitors are invited to record the sound of their heartbeat and donate it to
the artist.
The Delegation for the Plastic Arts ensures the production of the work and, so that the widest
access to it, asked the National Centre for Visual Arts to
sets up a policy of active mediation aimed at setting up a comprehensive reception system
and accompanying audiences.
Specialized mediators welcome and guide individual visitors free of charge in a
constant concern for exchanges and dialogue. The school public is the object of attention
particular. Many formats of visits and workshops, from the CM2 to the high school, are developed in
partnership with various institutions and National Education. This system offers
varied approaches, consistent with the common knowledge base and programmes
In a true concern for arts education, the keys to understanding the work are
students through theatrical practice workshops and writing workshops. The report
to the collective and individual memory, the creation of identity or the expression of humanity
are explored with students at the heart of the exhibition. More than
never, fostering the meeting of all audiences with the great living artists is, in the
of this unique event, a priority of the Ministry of Culture and
Catherine Grenier, curator at the Centre Pompidou, curates
MONUMENTA 2010. She designed many exhibitions at the Centre Pompidou, among
which Les Années Pop (2000), Giuseppe Penone (2004), the first presentation
collection theme, Big Bang (2005-2006), as well as the major collective exhibition Los
Angeles, 1955-1985 (2006). In 1999, Catherine Grenier was the invited commissioner of
exhibition Abracadabra at the Tate Gallery. She has also developed a regular activity
in the field of art history and aesthetics, notably with the publication of several
monographs (Annette Messager, Robert Morris, Claudio Parmiggiani, etc.) and essays on the
contemporary creation (The Revenge of Emotions, 1997 edition of Seuil). She is a specialist
of the work of Christian Boltanski with whom she conducted long interviews published in 2008 (La
possible life of Christian Boltanski), and to which she dedicated a monograph (to be published, end
2009, co-edition Centre national des arts plastiques – les éditions Flammarion).
In the interest of accessibility and openness to the art of our time for a wide audience, the price
entrance fee to MONUMENTA is fixed at 4 euros, with a reduced rate of 2 euros. The
cultural programming (accessible with the entrance ticket) alternates lectures on the work
by Christian Boltanski, thematic round tables, film screenings and a concert
new contemporary music in the Nave. A bilingual website, widely documented,
allows to prepare and deepen the visit through interviews of the artist and
reference personalities, thematic texts and photo gallery. Activities
to connect the artist’s work to the school curriculum through various
tools (teaching booklet, dedicated sections on the website, etc.). Thematic and
are also planned to build a link for all, around
of the work of creation.
An album (co-edition of the Centre national des arts plastiques and the art press magazine) is published at
this occasion. Widely illustrated, it brings together the major articles published since 1970 in the
art press about Christian Boltanski, as well as an interview between the artist and the critic
Georges Didi-huberman.
To learn more:

Event open to the public from 13 January to 21 February 2010
Nave du Grand Palais - Main Gate/ Avenue Winston Churchill 75008 PARIS
Every day except Tuesday
10am to 7pm on Mondays and Wednesdays
10am to 10pm Thursday to Sunday
Metro (1, 9, 13): Franklin Roosevelt, Champs-Elysées-Clémenceau. Bus (28, 32, 42, 72,
73, 80, 83, 93)
Rates. Normal: 4 euros/ Reduced: 2 euros
Group: 200 euros with mediator (max. 30 pers.)/ Group: 80 euros without mediator
(max. 30 pers.)
Admission ticket gives free access to cultural programming
Institutional partners: Ministry of Culture and Communication (Delegation
to the Plastic Arts), National Center of Plastic Arts, Meeting of Museums
National, Public establishment of the Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées.