Palais de Tokyo, Paris
25 April – 07 September
13 Avenue du Président Wilson, 75116 Paris
+33 1 81 97 35 88

Famous for his signature Seascapes and other black and white photographs, the work of Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto is instantly recognizable. Which makes this large installation at Paris’ Palais de Tokyo as surprising as it is a feat of brilliant scenography and artistic references.

“Aujourd’hui le monde est mort [Lost Human Genetic Archive]” is a new facet of a series of exhibitions Hiroshi Sugimoto has been elaborating for about ten years, juxtaposing his collections of objects, coming from a range of periods and cultures, and his photographic works. The objects in his collection are his “doubles,” and are indispensable to the artist as sources of lessons that enable him to renew his art. Drawing on references to Albert Camus’s novel L’Étranger [The Stranger] and Marcel Duchamp’s ready-mades, the artist has staged a world after human beings have ceased to exist: a personal vision of history, seen from the future. The exhibition consists of around thirty scenarios, narrated by different fictitious characters: a bee-keeper, a specialist in comparative religion, and a politician, who choose to preserve (or not to preserve) their individual genetic information for the future.

Devised as a kind of ruin, resonating with the atypical architecture of the Palais de Tokyo, the exhibition is not only the largest the artist has ever staged in Europe, but also a unique project that bears witness to his wide field of activity, ranging from literature to architecture. It is in the image of his attempt to understand art and human history according to a vast time scale that goes well beyond that of the human species, at the same time including science, religion, economics, etc.Where is this human race heading, incapable of preventing itself from being destroyed in the name of unchecked growth? Guided by this question, Hiroshi Sugimoto lets his imagination and his creativity drift to meet up with boththe past and the future.