BREATHING MINERALS - Living movements

A temporary exhibit by artists Caroline Besse and Manon Clouzeau

September 7 until October 27, 2018


All photos : copyright Manon Clouzeau / Caroline Besse.


From September 7th to October 27th, 2018, the Mineralogy Museum MINES ParisTech hosts the exhibition "BREATHING MINERALS - Living movements". This sensory experience was created by two artists in order to interact with the magnificent collection of minerals of the museum.



The Museum of Mineralogy, created and managed by L'école des Mines, is home to one of the most beautiful and extensive mineral collections in the world. Housed in a unique 19th-century Parisian building, the Vendôme hotel, the museum is striking as both a spectacular display of the beauty of the earth's resources and as an expansive scientific inventory. Visiting the museum is an experience that fills one with wonder.

In this breathtaking environment, Caroline Besse and Manon Clouzeau explore the role played by the body in the creative process. Our bodies are made of matter, as are the minerals: that is what the artists seek to highlight. The human body becomes raw material, shaped with every gesture they make. In the calm of their studios, mineral and human resonate: a common respiration is born. This breath infuses each work with own palpitations.

Fitting perfectly into the museum's architecture, the layout of the exhibition sends us on a sensorial journey. The visitor can see and hear, immerse themselves in this shared respiration of artworks and minerals.


The exhibition is partnered with “Japonismes 2018, les âmes en résonnance” («Japonismes 2018, Souls in resonance»), a cultural program aiming at celebrating relationships between Japan and France starting in July. Both of the artists are profoundly influenced by Japanese art and culture. We can feel it in the lines of Manon Clouzeau's ceramic bowls and in Caroline Besse's adaptation of traditional Japanese painting technique using crushed minerals to create decorative paintings.

The exhibition will also be part of Paris Design Week's Art and Design itinerary (September 7-15), as the artists' work is drawn influence from their experiences in craftmanship and design. As a member of the Centre Français de la Couleur (French Colour Center), Caroline Besse will organize round tables with specialists from the organization on the color of minerals.





From large mural paintings to small intimist pieces, Caroline Besse explores sensorial perception, both that of the artist's gesture and that of matter. Inspired by the various grains and shades of crushed minerals, listening to the movements dictated by her paintbrush and the different fluids fusing on paper, she lets the color of the moment breathe life into her work.

For the exhibition, she will create 26 paintings on Washi paper, showcasing fine variations in inks and the subtle tones found in the crushed minerals.




In the intimacy of her studio, Manon Clouzeau turns clay into bowls. She creates enamels by mixing different minerals, seeking to create harmony, color, and life. For the exhibition, she will create an art installation with clay bowls placed on fine sand. Arranged in lines to create colorful rythms, they invite us to reflect on the feeling of breathing.



Find here the press release dedicated to the the temporary exhibit "BREATHING MINERALS - Living Movements".



• September 6, 2018: Opening of the exhibit with the artists.

• September 7 to 15, 2018: Paris Design Week.

• October 13, 2018 at 2:30pm: Lecture « The colors of minerals » with the members of the French Color Center. 



The temporary exhibit "BREATHING MINERALS - Living Movements" is accessible with a classic ticket entrance to the Mineralogy Museum. To find all access and entrance conditions to the Museum, please click here.




BREATHING MINERALS - Living movements - MINES ParisTech

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MINES ParisTech

Musée de Minéralogie

60 boulevard Saint Michel

75006 Paris





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