The Whispers, 2008
Christian Boltanski's contribution to the Triennial The Whispers, was a sound installation sited at four benches on The Leas. The sound was triggered when visitors sat down. The voices heard were reading letters to and from servicemen of the First World War. Having passed through Folkestone on their way to the battle-fields in France and Belgium, the town became a poignant site for the soldiers in these personal and intimate reflections on love and separation in the midst of war. The letters were presented to the Triennial by the people of Folkestone and were read to participants by the people of Folkestone.
Christian Boltanski works with the ephemera of the human experience, dealing with questions of death, memory, and loss. Known for a body of work that may be considered an archive of our social, cultural, ethnic, and personal histories, Boltanski is one of France’s most widely exhibited living artists.