Catalog produced for a group show featuring Ben Vautier, Jean le Gac, John C. Fernie, and Boltanski at the Kunstmuseum Luzern in 1972. Features a full reproduction of Album de Photo de la Famille D. 1939-1964, an archive project of 150 photographs from a family album given to Boltanski by his childhood friend Michael Durand. “The photos [in the book] are presented in the same order on the museum wall,” in groups of six, Boltanski later wrote, “I think that the viewer will be able to see the progression of the plot.” In later exhibitions of the work, the photographs were hung in a continuous row and their sequence was altered (perhaps according to Durand’s own hand in the curation), making this catalog the only document of the work faithful to Boltanski’s initial vision of the project.
The images themselves underscore themes of memory and universality, as the vernacular snapshots are transposed into a poetic and interpretive space. “I noticed, however,” Boltanski writes, “that I could not move further because these documents seemed to belong to the common memory of any family. Everyone could recognize themselves in these … photos.” Familiar scenes of bike rides, beaches, and backyard picnics are punctuated by revisionary re-framings and duplicates of posed scenes, highlighting the hand and focus of the unknown amateur photographer. Boltanski’s careful sequence draws narrative threads throughout the images, with ample space for the viewer’s own memories and associations to be projected onto that of la Famille D.
Also includes documentation of Reconstitution de Gestes Effectues I-VI, biographic material, and an essay by Gilbert Lascault.