The Grandparents’ Archives

October 1994 to February 1996

Project with Christian Boltanski and Hans Ulrich Obrist

The exhibition is the result of a research project by Christian Boltanski with students of the University of Lüneburg. At the beginning of the research was Christian Boltanski’s question, “Comment ont-ils réagis? / How did they react?” and the invitation to the students to pursue this question in their own family history: “For me, this is not a historical or sociological work, but rather an individual research, a work of everyone’s ‘little memory,’ research directed at ourselves, how would you have reacted, how would I myself have reacted?”

The research was initially related to the period from 1933 to 1945, and in the course of the project was extended to the entire life span of a person from the generation of grandparents.

The results are presented in two basement rooms of the university building. In addition to Christian Boltanski’s installation, a documentation of the project created by the students is on display. It provides insight into the research material, the course of the project and the examination of Christian Boltanski’s artistic approach. Installation and documentation can be visited from 1.5. to 24.5.96, Wednesday to Friday from l4 to l7 and by appointment. “The Grandparents’ Archives” will thereafter remain at the University as a permanent installation by Christian Boltanski and will be accessible upon request.

curated by Hans Ulrich Olbrist