Activity number : 1 L’Eau Qui Dort

  • Installation

Under the surface of the sleeping water, objects thrown into a canal patiently wait to be recovered. Over the years, the exterior shell of these objects have taken on the hue of aquatic wreckage. For  L’eau Qui Dort, the artist received help from divers and cranes to dredge the canals and extract the debris. These ghostly objects mysteriously appear on the surface of the canal water, bathed in an aquamarine light.

Having been brought to the surface, these bikes, shopping carts, signs and refrigerators confront their owners, demonstrating that society’s desire for novelty can only be satisfied by transforming the old into the invisible.

The noise generated from these objects creates a disturbing soundtrack that emanates from the area around the canal, forming a complex three-dimensional soundscape.

L’Eau Qui Dort was commissioned by COAL for La Villette during the COP21 in Paris.


Michael Pinsky is a British artist whose international projects have led to the creation of innovative and stimulating works in galleries and public spaces. He has taken up various residencies that explore issues that shape and influence the use of our public domain. Embracing the role of artist, urban planner, activist, researcher and resident, he began taking on residencies and commissions without a specific agenda, working with the local population and local resources, thus enabling the physical, social and political environment to define his methodology of work.


His work has been displayed at Tate Britain, the Chengdu Museum of Contemporary Art, Saatchi Gallery, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, La Villette in Paris and the Armory Center for the Arts in Los Angeles.





‘Pour que la question de l’environnement ne soit plus une source de malaise mais d’inspiration’ – France Inter

‘(…) les fonds marins (…) sont révélateurs de notre rapport à la consommation et à l’environnement, comme le montre l’installation de Michael Pinsky, L’Eau qui dort’ – Le Monde

‘Ghostly creatures appearing from the water’ – The New York Times