The Limits of Humanity
13 October 2021 - 30 May 2022
Exploring our limits, questioning our future as human beings and, more globally, considering that of the planet—such is the vast field of exploration presented by this new exhibition at the Musée de l'Homme (Museum of Mankind) !
Technological progress has enabled us to repair our biological bodies and increase our physical and intellectual potential, but how far can one go while remaining individually and collectively human ? Haven’t we compromised our future by mistreating the planet in the name of progress ?
A 6-part journey, framed by a prologue and an epilogue, invites you to reflect on these important questions. Each part plunges you into an environment linked with the theme being addressed. You will find works of modern art, museum objects, multimedia installations and audiovisual presentations.
I am an exceptional animal
Are we unique beings in the living world ? Are we superior to other animals ? While it is difficult to define the unique characteristics of Mankind, awareness of animals has grown and their protection has become increasingly rigorous.
I am a champion
The Zinedine Zidane puppet from “Les Guignols de l'info” (“The News Puppets”) welcomes you to this dynamic section: make way for sport, and the feats of champions pushing the limits of their biological body through physical and mental training, through creativity, but also through technical innovation.
I am a cyborg
In a futuristic setting, you enter the imaginary world of metal-clad superheroes, and the reality of technological innovations: prosthetics, exoskeletons, implants, and more. The cyborg is a refurbished, augmented, connected human. Some kinds of hybridisation are invasive and modify an individual's body irreversibly.
I am a mutant
Change of setting: in this lab-like section you’ll be taken to another level ! Other than seeking to create the perfect individual, it may become possible to modify the human species through biotechnology. But what will be the impact of such technology on the human being ? What about the moral issues that arise from this ?
I am immortal
Can science provide the hope of immortality ? Can one augment human capabilities to the extent of not dying ? Demography, medicine, and anthropology are called upon to provide a perspective on scientific data, funeral rites and beliefs—up to and including the promises of eternal life made by transhumanists.
Where we’ll all end up
After having daydreamed about immortality, you will return to the reality of a small planet in such a poor state that its future appears uncertain. This last part heralds humanity's grim future on a sick planet, before considering, in the epilogue, the possibilities of a united future.