A Disorienting Mirrored Floor by Kimsooja Skews Perspectives at a Paris Art Museum

A Disorienting Mirrored Floor by Kimsooja Skews Perspectives at a | RetinaComics

Detail of  Kimsooja’s ‘carte blanche’ installation “To Breathe — Constellation,” part of the ‘Le monde comme il va,’ Bourse de Commerce, Pinault Collection, Paris, 2024. © the artist, Tadao Ando Architect & Associates, Niney et Marca Architectes, and Pierre-Antoine Gatier Agency. Photos by Florent Michel, courtesy of the Pinault Collection

The Bourse de Commerce in Paris can trace its architectural lineage back to the 15th century, incorporating a freestanding column used in a grand house for Catherine de Medici and the majestic circular floor plan and glass dome of an 18th-century wheat market building. In 1889, the structure was reintroduced as the Bourse de Commerce, or stock exchange, then later fell out of use.

Three years ago, with the help of art collector François Pinault and a team of renowned architects, the building took on new life as a museum to share Pinault’s notable collection of modern and contemporary art with the public. Japanese architect Tadao Ando, whose style emphasizes empty space as a way to highlight the beauty of simplicity, designed the rotunda with an elegantly curved concrete wall around the perimeter. A new installation by acclaimed conceptual artist Kimsooja invites yet another way of experiencing the space.

As part of the exhibition Le Monde Comme Il Va, which translates to “the world as it is,” Kiimsooja was commissioned to make a “carte blanche” installation for the rotunda, harnessing the plentiful light that filters in from above and interacting with the monumental architecture. An enormous mirror on the floor comprises the centerpiece of her installation, To Breathe — Constellation, which also includes a series of 24 videos and sculptures in display cases elsewhere in the museum.

Reflecting Andao’s sophisticated designs and the dome’s historic murals, Kimsooja’s mirror inverts the world as we know it, challenging our sense of order. “I would like to create works that are like water and air,” the artist says, “which we cannot possess but which can be shared with everyone.”

Universal on one hand, the experience is also personal depending on where one stands, looks, moves, or interacts with others. “The mirror that Kimsooja offers us also moulds the space into a gathering, the possibility of a totality that invites us all to create a world together,” the museum says in a statement.

Le Monde Comme Il Va opens March 20 and continues through September 2 in Paris. Explore more of Kimsooja’s work on her website.


A large rotunda with a mirrored floor, concrete walls, and classical ornamentation on top.

People stand on a mirrored floor in front of a concrete wall

People interact with a mirrored floor in a large rotunda

A woman takes a picture with her phone, stnading on the mirrored floor of a large rotunda

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