Christian Boltanski, Damián Ortega and Alice Neel impress in this year’s strongly international show, while Inverleith House celebrates in style
A vision of bright reeds shimmers across the lake on the tiny island. Each is tied with a label and capped with a ceramic bell. Simple strips of Perspex, these labels appear white, then silver, then barely visible in the breeze, resembling the leaves of the willow tree above. The silvery music of the bells is the sonic equivalent of the shivering labels.
It is a beautiful sight, a son et lumiere for the Lothian landscape that doubles as a commemoration of the limitless dead. For Animitas, by the great French artist Christian Boltanski, takes its title from the Chilean roadside shrines honouring ancestral souls. Boltanski’s labels are nameless, however, as if to embrace all the dead of the world. His installation murmurs now in the Scottish air, releasing its song, but those currents pass freely all over the globe.