'When I make a large show, I often try to have a beginning and an end, because emotion comes from time. But it's a different kind of time than theatre or cinema. I mean, when you read a book, you have, say, a young girl who is happy on one page, and you turn the page and now she is dying. That quality of emotion comes when you have some kind of a shock.When I make a picture, I try to create different kinds of space, and even different kinds of shock, to have a beginning and to have a sweep of emotion. My work is a little like theatre, but it's also always so different. I'm like a musician, I can play my work and I can play my work better, or worse, depending on the place where I am showing. It's theatre without text, without spectacle. What I wish to do is something between theatre and installation.' (www.tate.org.uk).
"You know the Lessons of Darkness is very Catholic. It’s a special mass, I think there are three masses three days before the Sanctus Friday, the Friday before Easter. This mass begins at five o’clock in the afternoon, and in the beginning, when you arrive, you have daylight: and coming out, when it’s finished, it’s dark. At the end of the mass they switch off all the candles and lights: people go slowly into the darkness. The music for this special mass is called “The Sense of Darkness” because it’s going into sadness in the darkness. If my show works, it must work a little like that. At the beginning of the installation, there is some light and the more you walk, the more it’s dark and the more it’s sad. The last room, the archive room, is very, very sad. It’s a very little room with 400 people inside. Here are all the photos I use and reuse in my life, my archive" (www.bombsite.com).
I think the way Boltanski has set up this exhibition is very unique. The idea of having a start and an end to it is quite a clever way to think about how to put an exhibition together. Like Boltanski says, " I often try to have a beginning and an end, because emotion comes from time", he wants to almost create a film through his work. There has to be a story line when it comes to displaying your work. You don't want to have 10 photos that have no connection or don't portray a story, you want viewers to be able to move from one photo to the next and understanding your work. This concept relates back to my work. If you only see one photograph from the series, it wouldn't have any kind of meaning. You need to see all of the images together in order to understand what I am trying to portray.