Contemporary art can be weird wonderful and whimsical, more often weird. When it is participatory, it is at another level again. And so I became heartbeat #19958 recorded on 13 April 2016 in Christian Boltanski’s worldwide installation ‘Les Archives du Coeur’.
The house sits facing a quiet beach of the Setouchi Inland Sea. Inside, “Les Archives du Cœur” my own heartbeats were digitised forever. I can’t remember what my personal message was which is part of the archive for the work.
The listening room is totally immersive, somewhat psychedelic, but totally mesmerising. A dark tunnel pumping out the heartbeats of someone you don’t know and who you will never meet – thumping like a trance music club at 3:00am. Maybe my heartbeats have similarly affected visitors since. That would be nice.
Christian Boltanski explores themes of life and death in a variety of media. Not that I knew it beforehand, his exhibitions have been held at leading museums worldwide and he is one of the most significant French contemporary artists. Who knew?
Teshima is one of the sites of the Setouchi Triennale. We visited in April 2016 during the Spring session of the Triennale – taking in dozens of fantastic works across Teshima and Ogijima islands.
Teshima is easily accessible by ferry from Takamatsu on Shikoku or Uno near Okayama. For more information, see Teshima Tourist Association. To make plans for your 2019 visit, or to see what you missed out on in 2016, see Setouchi Triennale