Views from above considers how an elevated perspective, from the first aerial photographs of the nineteenth century to the satellite images of Google Earth, has transformed artists' perception of the world.
Covering more than 2,000 square metres, the exhibition gives us the power of Icarus and in over 400 works (paintings, photographs, drawings, films, architecture models, installations, books, reviews...) offers a singular and spectacular view of modern and contemporary art.
There has been a considerable regain in interest in the aerial view over recent years. From the success of Yann Arthus-Bertrand's Earth From Above to the popularity of Google Earth, we are fascinated by this bird's-eye view as much for the beauty of the landscapes it reveals as the feeling of omnipotence it inspires.
The exhibition draws on this popularity to return to the origins of aerial photography and explore its impact on the work of artists and, consequently, the history of art.
When Nadar took his first aerial photographs from a hot-air balloon, circa 1860, he gave artists their first indications of the world they knew but had never seen from so high. An elevated perspective blurs landmarks and relief, slowly transforming the land into a flat surface whose visual reference points are no longer distinguishable one from the other.
Right up to today, artists, photographers, architects and filmmakers have continued to explore the aesthetic and semantic implications of this extraordinary vantage point. Now this fascinating journey is the subject of an unprecedented multidisciplinary exhibition.
An innovative scenography in eight themed sections takes visitors through time as well as space, gradually rising from the balcony scenes of the first works on display to views from a hot-air balloon, an airship, an aeroplane, and finally a satellite.