Après Vous, Le Déluge is an art installation by SUPERFLEX made specifically for the new building of Galeries Lafayette in Champs Elysées, Paris.
The work consists of an sculptural blue dashed line fixed on the walls of the building’s atrium. While constructed with solid and tangible sculptures, the discontinued line becomes an indicator of an invisible yet probable limit: the estimated height of sea level rise within the next century as a consequence of climate change. The suggested height has been established according to the predictions of the 2015 Paris Agreement.
The location of the sculptures in the atrium of Galeries Lafayette has a direct impact on the work’s meaning and interpretation. Firstly, the geographic location of the work is significant: it is located in the French capital, host of the 2015 international climate conference where the Paris Agreement was signed with the unprecedented support of 196 states. On the other hand, the work re-contextualises and destabilises the familiar and pleasant space of the department store by inciting a discussion of climate discussion. In this way, Après Vous, Le Déluge provides visitors with an abstract but visual representation of what might happen to their immediate environment in case the worse climate change projections finally materialise. It is an invitation to consider the palpable consequences of climate change to our everyday lives, presenting an image of water readily seeping into the well-known scenarios of our quotidian reality.
The title Après Vous, Le Déluge paraphrases the quote of King of France Louis XV: «Après moi, le déluge» while playing with its multiple interpretations. On one hand, an abstract prophetic claim of chaos; on the other, a statement of indifference. The phrase also points at our individual and collective behaviours, and the way we can impact change.
With Après Vous, Le Déluge, SUPERFLEX passes on a message coming directly from the Ocean. By physically showing the likely adverse consequences of our collective conduct, the artwork emphasises that we have no choice but to radically transform the way we live together.