Christian Boltanski - Animitas The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum
From May to September 2021, Christian Boltanski’s Animitas, a sound work consisting of 180 small bronze bells on steel stems, will fill the Noguchi Museum’s garden with a “music of lost souls.” Boltanski’s extended video Animitas, La Forêt des Murmures (2016), which documents another, permanent version of the work on the island of Teshima in Japan, will also be on view.
The first incarnation of Animitas, a sound installation by Boltanski, appeared in a remote part of the Atacama Desert in 2014. The name comes from the small roadside shrines to the departed found in Chile. In that desolate, high-altitude landscape, now a location for international observatories, Boltanski installed 800 small bronze bells suspended from steel stems of various heights arranged to mimic the position of the stars on the night of his birth. Twisting in the wind, the bells play a gently cacophonous “music of lost souls.”
The temporary version of Animitas installed in the Noguchi Museum’s garden will be linked to a permanent example called La Forêt des Murmures (2016) on the island of Teshima in Japan by a day-long video of the Japanese installation that will be on view in Area 4 of The Noguchi Museum.
180 bronze bells, steel rods, plastic
Installation view at The Noguchi Museum, May 5–September 5, 2021
Photo © Ashley Cho
Artworks © Christian Boltanski and © The Isamu Noguchi Foundation and Garden Museum / ARS