Boltanski, Christian. Le Lycée Chases. St. Étienne: Maison de la Culture et de la Communication de Saint Étienne. 1987.
Le Lycée Chases is an artist’s book by Christian Boltanski that features photographs of the members of the 1931 class of a Jewish high school in Vienna. Death and mortality have been important themes in Boltanski’s art and many of his works make reference to the Holocaust. In this book, Boltanski has enlarged and cropped the portraits of the students, put them through several iterations of reproduction, and then printed them on thin, almost translucent, paper. The resulting eighteen full-page photos are blurred and ghostly with deep shadows at the eyes. The cadaverous appearance of the smiling student photos leads the viewer to reflect upon the likely fates of these young men and women.
Le Lycée Chases features a softcover perfect binding with covers of cream-colored laid paper. The cover presents the title in red ink and the artist’s name in black ink. A group photo of the class is reproduced on the title page. In addition, a photo of the artist’s installation using these photographs appears at the end of the volume. Printing was completed by Imprimerie P. Guichard in La Chauvetière, Saint-Étienne.
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