The River


The River, an installation by Charles Sandison

Commissioned by the musée du quai Branly — Jacques Chirac, The River is an installation by contemporary artist Charles Sandison. Visitors are invited to immerse themselves in a river of flowing words projected at various rhythms and densities throughout the journey along the ramp, leading to its source: the Collections Area. Visitors are accompanied by the 16,597 names of all the people and geographical places presented in the museum's collections.

The installation is animated by software blending language and hydrological cycles, combining simulation techniques intended to create an artificial life and to illustrate the laws of physics. The richness of cultures flows like words in time and space, like water. This allows us to observe the diversity of mankind while contemplating the channels and canyons engraved on its surface, carved by the flood of language. Visitors can repeatedly imagine relationships, be captivated by the movements of the discourse of these signs, approach, interpret, and dream.