This article discusses the autobiographical photograph in French artist Christian Boltanski's early work from 1968 to 1975. The article examines how the artist empowered his photograph the features of autobiographical narrative in literature to create a mythic autobiography of "Christian Boltanski." Traditional autobiography emphasizes authenticity; thence there is always no room for falsification and fiction. And traditional photography contains "real and past", as Roland Barthes said. By analyzing these "Christian Boltanski" images that are not even Boltanski himself at all, the first part of this article attempts to demonstrate that Boltanski does not intend to highlight the impossibility of traditional autobiography and photography, but rather makes them necessarily endorsed his totally fictional caption in the autobiographical photograph from their essences. And the second part of this article continues to argue that it was precisely because of Boltanski's uses of photography allows him to claim that all the characters in the image were he, the photograph of "other am I" hence touched and summoned only the lives and memories related to others. The creation of the mythical character "Christian Boltanski" therefore left only the universal memory of "Christian Boltanski", and no real memories of him eventually. In light of this, the article concludes that the memory construction and disappearance in Boltanski's early autobiographical photograph are not tied to its reliability or simply result of forgetfulness, but instead in the process of writing his own autobiography through images, Boltanski made them universal.
autobiographical photograph, memory, other, Christian Boltanski, "Christian Boltanski"