Angela Bulloch. Perpendicular Paradigm

In the exhibition Perpendicular Paradigm, Angela Bulloch works with the poetry of space to offer a sensory experience requiring us to engage our senses, be attentive and alert, and invites us to reflect on the flexible nature of our thoughts.

The exhibition Perpendicular Paradigm brings a night sky together with a forest of sculptures alongside imaginary characters navigating a virtual world. The title's combination of the two terms “Perpendicular Paradigm”, invites us to challenge our convictions. The term “Paradigm” refers to a body of knowledge on which we draw when we try to understand our surroundings. “Perpendicular” describes things that are upright against a horizontal plane, such as humans standing at a 90 degree angle to the ground or sculptures on a floor. For Angela Bulloch, combining these two words invites us to reflect on the subjectivity of our point of view from which we observe and look in order to understand the past, the present, and to imagine the future.

Firmamental Square

Since 2007, Angela Bulloch has been designing works using the relative positions of stars captured to produce a mapped out representation of the night sky from a particular place in the universe at a particular moment in time. The artist creates an artificial image of the cosmos with software which is frequently used by planetariums to study the solar system.
Firmamental Square was created especially for the Musée d’arts' Atrium. The installation reproduces the starry sky of the summer solstice on 21 June 2021 in Nantes, to coincide with the period for which the exhibition was originally scheduled. The artist is now looking back with hindsight at a date which was projected in the future at that time.

Geometric constellation

The Atrium, is populated by geometric sculptures made of wood, metal or synthetic marble. Their names refer to mythical, or legendary figures relating to the origins of our western civilisations.
Although some sculptures are painted, others are programmed so that the light varies and modifies perceptions of space. Changes in points of view create the illusion of flat surfaces and volumes shifting positions. This impression is reinforced by paintings on the Arcade walls. These silhouettes echo the shadows of the sculptures’ facades.

Sound, light and color

For the exhibition, Angela Bulloch has produced a two channel video animation modelling the Atrium and Arcade spaces in 3D. Perpendicular Paradigm is both the title of the exhibition and the title of that video work, showing a slice of a meta-reality, the exhibition within the exhibition, a situation within a situation.


Chief curator:
Sophie Lévy, Director and Curator, Musée d’arts de Nantes

Exhibition curator:
Katell Jaffrès, Head of contemporary art collections, Musée d’arts de Nantes


The museum thanks the State – Ministry of Culture – DRAC of Pays de la Loire for the subsidy from which the exhibition benefits.

Logo-Prefecture-PDL.jpg (Impression)

The exhibition is part of the Voyage à Nantes, for which the museum is very grateful.


The museum also thanks all the cultural actors who contribute to offering a varied and high quality program.



- Vue of the exhibition, photo : © Musée d'arts de Nantes - C. Clos
- Angela Bulloch, Anima Helen and Animus Troy, 2015, animation, synthetic marble sheet material, International LED DMX module, DMX controller, cables, courtesy of the 'artist and Esther Schipper, Berlin © Eberle & Eisfeld

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