Hiroshi Sugimoto: the world is dead.

11:07

Some day a meteor might crash against our planet, or the solar system might fall into an electromagnetic field or, maybe, global markets might colapse and everything fill fall in a dominó effect. All those possible scenarios from Apocalypse made Japanese artist Hiroshi Sugimoto (1948) state that the world as we know it will, one day, come to an end.
The exhibition being housed right now at Paris' Palais de Tokyo shows what remains after a catastrophe that, according to Sugimoto, is bound to happen sooner or later.  This is why he says that enjoying this present fills him with happiness.
The exhibition is a total disorder: pure chaos. Sheets of corrugated steel mingle with destroyed brick walls. Treasures of Humanity among the garbage. Ruins everywhere, abandoned by people, where only certain objects, which could not or would not be taken, remain forgotten.
Aujourd’hui le monde est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Sugimoto’s photographs of “The Last Supper” at Madame Tussauds, damaged by Hurricane Sandy
Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014) 
Broken glasses in the roof of the museum show the result of the fall of the meteor. Wherever you look, Sugimoto's world has come to an end.
Aujourd’hui le monde est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), by Hiroshi Sugimoto
The fall of the meteor
Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014)
“Today the world has died, or maybe yesterday”, Sugimoto states. Although it's probably frustrating to see our world devastated, the exhibition is somewhat an experience that can be enjoyed: thousands of details call for eager eyes in this large-scale installation.
At first, the visitor is overwhelmed by the amount of hand-written texts to read. But then, as lighting diminishes, the yellowy papers can't be read, it's impossible to figure out the writing, and so only observation is left. 
Aujourd’hui le monde est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014) 
A stuffed parrot shouts and caws, repeating "Today the world has died". "What an amazing feeling".
Aujourd’hui le monde est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014) 
Finally, after so much distress and devastation, visitors are invited to escape through a corridor where a photo of the sea, taken by Sugimoto himself, gives the farewell.
Aujourd’hui le monde est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), de Hiroshi Sugimoto
Caribbean sea, Jamaica (2002) - Gelatine silver print.
Palais de Tokyo, París (2014) 
And so we see the last trick the artist has prepared for us, before the final step of the Apocalypse: some words printed on the wall...
Aujourd’hui le monde est mort (Lost Human Genetic Archive), by Hiroshi Sugimoto
Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014) 
"44.6 billion years have passed since the solar system began.
The seven thousand years of human civilisation was but the blink of an eye.
The third planet from the sun still has plenty of water, as if nothing had happened."
The MNBA is not a contemporary art museum, so it has few artworks by artists of this century. However, its vast collection from the "recent past" let's us enjoy part of the history and tradition of our "very short humanity".

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Contents

Liliana Wrobel


Production & Translation

Carla Mitrani

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ObrasMNBA@gmail.com