Photos of the French Pavilion

In the French Pavilion, Christian Boltanski presents several monumental installations under the common title Change.
The main space of the pavilion is dominated by The Wheel of Fortune: a huge strip of photographs of newborns running through a room-filling construction of what looks like an industrial newspaper press machine. The photos have a high Boltanski factor but combined with the noise of the machines and the speed of the moving images, the work becomes much more extravert than his former installation pieces.
The side wings of the pavilion are occupied with almost identical installations: a series of colored digital numbers on big computer screens. In one room the numbers are green (representing newborns) in the other red (representing deaths). Seems that on global level birth outnumbers death by 200.000 a day!
The last room shows an interactive piece in which portraits of 60 Polish newborns and 52 deceased Swiss are cut into 3 parts and randomly assembled on a big screen. As a viewer you can press a button and freeze the screen. If you happen to have the right combination of the 3 facial parts, you walk home with your own Boltanski. Pas mal, àlors… ;-)