A Metaphorical Institute


A Metaphorical Institute was created in April 2015, during a workshop on metaphors in immunology, bringing together researchers artists & scientists.

A Metaphorical Institute is a research group, of varying size, bringing together artists, scientists, dancers, researchers, willing to question the words of science and art, and in particular the use of metaphors within research practices.
Through workshops and public events, A Metaphorical Institute invites to work, collectively, on language and research practices. Combining different ways of experiencing/experimenting (theoretical, plastic, somatic…), it intends to set thoughts in motion, build and share tools for critical thinking, to be used by other researchers, scientists, artists, citizens.

2016 – 2018 : Project “D'un monde à d'autres”, funded by Daniel et Nina Carasso Foundation.

This project consist in a series of 3 workshops, which are iterative (connected to each other) and itinerant (Aubervilliers, Jerusalem and Bidart), and will each gather about 15 artists and scientists. This trilogy aims to question and enrich metaphors which we use in our respective research practices. It aims to create and share tools for critical thinking, to be used by other researchers, scientists and artists, citizens. The topics to be explored will evolve from one workshop to another. The tools will be refined and developed.

The project “D'un monde à d'autres” is coordinated by Mathilde Chénin, artist, Anna Principaud, artist, and l'Atelier des Jours à Venir.
  • Métaphores, immunité, corps, connaissance, institutions (2015)Artwork created by Mathilde Chénin and Anna Principaud. It was exposed at La Galerie CAC de Noisy-Le-Sec from September to October 2015. Words are spread into space, in relationship with the practices, topics, issues addressed during the first workshop of A Metaphorical Institute in Bidart (May 2015).
  • Entrées/ez en métaphores (2016). Textual &graphical object, ai
    med to introduce some questions about metaphors. 
    This booklet was designed during a residency in Mains d'Oeuvres (Saint-Ouen). The text content was produced by Mathilde Chénin, Anna Principaud, Claire Ribrault, Leila Perié (with the participation of Anne Le Goff, Livio Riboli-Sasco, François Asperti-Boursin). The design of the object was conceived by Mathilde Chénin and Anna Principaud, in collaboration with graphical designers from Studio Kiosk. A second version of this booklet  as been produced (in French and English), in a simpler layout and in a freely printable format. 
  • Shake Your Metaphor – A protocol to explore new metaphors (2018). A protocol to explore, criticize, enrich, hack a metaphor, within a scientific research framework. This tool was produced by research Leïla Perié (Atelier des Jours à Venir, Institut Curie) and dramaturge Antonia Taddei (XTNT) during the last workshop, with the participation of Claire Ribrault, Livio Riboli-Sasco and Pascale Blaison. This short protocol is designed to be performed in 1h: it is therefore easily suitable to be used within university trainings or work meetings within research groups. 
  • Le Set des lieux et des fonctions (2018). This art work was created by Mathilde Chénin and Anna Principaud during the last workshop, as a kit for architectural models. It was created as a support for reflection towards the elaboration of a possible website, to prolong the activities about metaphors in research practices initiated within this project (« d'un monde à d'autres »). More generally, the Set acts as a support for thinking, writing and research about the forms of collaboration and collective settings. 
    (Pict: Le Set des lieux et fonctions, A. Principaud & M. Chénin, Octobre 2018, Bidart)
  • Asymmetry (2018). Asymmetry is a participatory performance designed for a group of 8 to 12 people, designed by Goni Shifron and Rafael Medeiros. It questions the concept of dynamic balance when sharing elements within a group. It uses a minimal scenography and simple rules which are directly inspired by biological processes such as cell divisions and inheritances mechanisms.
    (Pict: Asymmetry – Goni Shifron & Rafael Medeiros, October 2018, Bidart)
  • Synthèse bibliographique (2018). Metaphors in scientific research. A short synthesis, produced by Claire Ribrault with the participation of Livio Riboli-Sasco and Leïla Perié. It addresses more specifically the diversity of definitions of “metaphor”, and questions how the researchers' position with respect to metaphors can relate to their own epistemological and ontological frameworks.

Past activities