Foto principale

Boltanski ‘Telephone Subscribers’

Boltanski – City of Paris Museum of Modern Art

How can a list of names from the Yellow Pages create an emotion?

It is possible when a real artist presents them with a poetic twist.

The name of the artist is Christian Boltanski.

Today, while visiting the “Musée d’art moderne de la Ville de Paris”, I entered into a so-called site-specific section, that is to say a work of art conceived and created for a specific location.

In this particular case the location is a room where a library or, so to speak, an archive of telephone directories from different countries and different ages was re-created. The artist’s intention was to convey the sense of alienation, of not belonging that today’s society often makes us feel.

Have we really all become just a name written in alphabetical order?

PS:  It was amusing to look up my ad “Antiques Buyer” in the Roman Yellow Pages from the Nineties. And I was really excited when I found it in the 1993 edition.


“Telephone Subscribers”
Christian Boltanski
City of Paris Museum of Modern Art
11 Avenue du Président Wilson -Paris