Une brève histoire de l’avenir


Film, painting, photography, sculpture...

Une brève histoire de l’avenir

Past: September 24, 2015 → January 4, 2016

This exhibition—one of the most anticipated at the Louvre in 2015—is based on the book by Jacques Attali of the same name Une brève histoire de l’avenir (Fayard, 2006). Pluridisciplinary, it brings a number of contemporary artists into a dialogue with noteworthy works from different eras, retracing in the present an account of the past conducive to a clearer view of the future.

The viewing itinerary is organized around four themes, each featuring works commissioned from contemporary artists: the ordering of the world, the great empires, the expansion of the world, and the polycentric world we live in today.

Two hundred artworks are thus reunited in a subjective and poetic reading of the past, translated by artistic creations from the previous millennia, as well as fifteen works by contemporary artists, some of which have been specially commissioned. Mark Manders, Tomás Saraceno, Wael Shawky, Camille Henrot, Isabelle Cornaro, Chéri Samba, and Ai Weiwei have thus accepted the Louvre’s invitation.

Louvre une breve histoire de l avenir 8 medium
Chamelier, Chine, époque de la dynastie des Wei du Nord (386-534) — Terre cuite Paris, musée Cernuschi © Stéphane Piera / Musée Cernuschi / Roger-Viollet

A Brief History of the Future combines moderns and ancients, artists, science, architecture, and film, to discern what the history of bygone societies can tell us about the perils and opportunities of the future. The main concept of the exhibition is the dialogue, continuous or intermittent, that contemporary thought engages with the future, as well as with the arts of different eras and civilizations.

These artworks highlight the succession of historical moments of expansion and withdrawal, the building of exchanges between individuals or communities, and the creation of various means of communication to make them possible.

Designed by Juan-Felipe Alarçon, architect-scenographer at the Louvre, the exhibition highlights a themed narrative marked by scansions. It also provides space for pauses, like byways running in poetic and thought-provoking counterpoint. The lighting and color scheme serve to enhance ancient artworks and contemporary creations alike.

Special focus is placed on interpreting the artworks and putting them into perspective, particularly through a discussion area created in the last room.


Organized by: Dominique de Font-Réaulx, Curator at the Louvre and Director of the Musée National Eugène-Delacroix, and Jean de Loisy, President of the Palais de Tokyo, in cooperation with Sandra Adam- Couralet and Martin Kiefer.

Scientific advisor: Jacques Attali.


Around the exhibition (in french)

01 Paris 1 Zoom in 01 Paris 1 Zoom out

Palais royal, musée du Louvre

75001 Paris


Palais Royal – Musée du Louvre

Opening hours

Every day except Tuesday, 9 AM – 6 PM
Late night on Wednesday, Friday until 9:30 PM
Lundi, jeudi, samedi, dimanche : fermeture des salles à partir de 17h30

Admission fee

Full rate €17.00

D’octobre à mars : le premier dimanche de chaque mois, l’accès aux collections permanentes est gratuit pour tous.