As part of the New Sponsors initiative launched by the Fondation de France, "Parcours d'ombres" is a public lighting commission to the artist Christian Boltanski by the Commune of Vitteaux, with the mediation of the Consortium, Centre d'art contemporain in Dijon. It also benefited from the involvement of Siceco.
Born in 1944 in Paris, Christian Boltanski "uses old photos, documents and banal objects as his materials, and engages in a methodical quest for the identity of beings and of life, undermined by repetition, the derisory, and oblivion" (Le Petit Larousse illustré, 2004).
If his first works date from the end of the sixties, his first "Shadow Theatre" was shown in 1984. Alongside the Monuments of the Leçons de ténèbres series, the shadow projections (such as "L'Ange d'alliance" presented at the Chapelle de la Salpêtrière, Paris, 1986), mark an important moment in his artistic production.
In Vitteaux, in 2004 and for the first time, he uses these figures (witches, angels, various animals or faces) to create a permanent installation, a backwards lighting, where dark silhouettes materialize here and there in the light of some ancient lanterns.
Walking through the alleys or looking inside a disused chapel, one thinks of characters from a medieval bestiary as well as the grimacing apparitions of Halloween.
A poetic invention adapted to the specificity of a village atmosphere, a work of art proposed to the responsibility of the community of its inhabitants and that the artist wishes to open to the singular perception of the walker.
In 2010 the Commune of Vitteaux decided to extend the route, a sign that this contemporary work is now part of the imaginary heritage of its inhabitants in the same way as the sculpture in the form of a saucer by Sylvie Fleury at the exit of the town, in the direction of Avallon.
21 figurines are visible from nightfall, Ruelle Ferrand, Rue Portelle, Rue Hubert Languet and Pont de l'Oeuf.