Christian Boltanski No Man’s Land at Park Avenue Armory

Christian Boltanski’s No Man’s Land fills the interior of the Park Avenue Armory with thousands of pieces of used clothing, and creating a 40-foot-high mountain. A huge clawed crane grabs clumps of clothing from the top of the pile and then the pieces flutter back down to the floor.

The floor is gridded off into sections where coats are laid out, animated by the pounding sound of human heartbeats.

Visitors have the opportunity to contribute their heartbeats to the piece in Boltanski’s Archives du Coeurs, a collection of human heartbeats from around the world. My heartbeat is number 000052, fast and irregular. Click play below and turn up the sound!!
This piece, as consistent with Boltanski’s work, speaks to memory and human life. The rows and piles of clothing which once were filled with human life calls to the atrocities of the Holocaust.
The military barracks of the Park Avenue Armory add a dark intensity that was less cumbersome when this work was exhibited in Paris’ Grand Palais.

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