Consciousness is usually defined as the knowledge one has of his own body, his own actions and ideas. To be conscious means essentially to be able to think, enlighten the inner world and the external one at the same time; that means – as we’ve been teached by the English empiricism – to be able to link experience, sensations, memory and adapt oneself to reality.
Synthetically we can say simultaneously that consciousness is synonymous with self knowledge and, that « There is no other property of the mind but consciousness which has evident and mysterious characteristics at the same time ». ( Alberto Oliviero )
Boltanski’s work owns evidence and mystery and, as consciousness does, its internal events – in every one of the 16 drawers lays a photography of someone dead by torture which, having not been fixed, disappears slowly after exposure to the light ) – disturb, or better, overturn temporarily our perception ( and our sensitivity ) and, at the same time, transform te essence of the work irreducibly.