Art is divine

The Cradle of  Life

Micha Christos



from May 22 to September 26, 2021




Guillaume Barth, 

The second world, Elina, 2015, video, 4mn41

© Fondation François Schneider

Dégé statuettes

Tellem, Dogon, Mopti region, Mali

Late 14th century - 16th century

Wood, sacrificial materials

© musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Claude Germain










The “Water Territories” exhibition brings together works and objects from the collections of the Musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, with a selection of works from the François Schneider Foundation, a contemporary art fund established since 2011 on the subject of water.


The “Contemporary Talents” competition rewards 7 laureates from all disciplines and nationalities. Videos, photographs, drawings, installations, digital works, blown glass sculptures constitute a set of pieces that tell about water in all its forms. The winners illustrated the theme through rituals, beliefs, reinventing a planet or crossing the Mediterranean. They also wonder about mass fishing, dams or the mechanics of water.


Cristina Escobar

Trophies, 2018

Installation of 40 Carrara marble objects

Variable dimensions

© Fondation François Schneider

Olivier Leroi, Souffles, 2007

Taxidermied fish, blown glass, 12 x 100 x 8 cm

© Fondation François Schneider

Anthropomorphic sculpture of a goddess,

Mexico, Aztec culture, 1350-1521

Dense volcanic rock of grayish color;

ochre pigments of goethite and red of hematite

© musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac







To capture the universality of the subject, their creations are put into perspective with the exceptional pieces from Quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, the whole creates a unique journey, a real dive into centuries and space over water.


This magical liquid has fascinated artists, designers and craftsmen for thousands of years. In all eras and at the heart of their inspiration, resurgences and similarities of iconographies emerge.


The exhibition embarks its visitors on a flood of creativity and ingenuity. They thus navigate in five main sections, from the making of techniques and the daily landscape of water, from liquid imaginings to sacred territories and the geography of crossings. True multidisciplinary and multicultural dialogue, water is alive in these amulets, statuettes, shells and canoes but also in the heart of photographs or videos of rice fields, hydraulic technologies.

Nasses, Chad, Cameroon, Vietnam, Malaysia, late 19th - first half of 20th century. Cane, roan fiber, rattan, bamboo.

© musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Claude Germain









Cradle of life, primordial water is a source of universal energy, a link of body and heart by nature between earth and humanity. From ocean to mist, from tear to storm, every drop is synonymous with birth and rebirth. Water has a dreamlike spiritual, but also material, political and technological dimension. Absent or omnipresent, it inspires myths and dreams, frightening or captivating, it accompanies people on their journey to the heart of their birth and to their terrestrial ones.


"I am the river and the river is me", from the Milky Way to the Abyss, the soul is bathed in an ocean of stars.

Mourning dress, Han dynasty, China, late 19th century, embroidered gauze. 

© musée du quai Branly - Jacques Chirac, photo Claude Germain

Yves Chaudouët

The fish of the deep have feet, 2006

Approximately 280 pieces of blown / drawn glass, microprocessors, LED cluster, variable dimensions

© Fondation François Schneider