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Le soleil ni la mort - Stéphanie Solinas, delpire & co 2022

Le soleil ni la mort

Can we avoid death? Stéphanie Solinas questions this possibility from the point of view of cryonics.

Stéphanie Solinas

delpire & co

Publication date : 2022/03/17
Weight 770g, 160 pages, 190 x 290 mm
80 Colour photographs
Texts in French and English
ISBN 979-10-95821-41-0
Published with the support of the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (CNAP).

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They’re not alive, but they’re not dead either, which confuses people because it’s got to be one or the other, right? We have night, we have day—but we also have twilight.

There will be some challenges, but it’s worth it. Just being dead is boring, so I don’t mind some challenges as long as I get to keep living.

Excerpts from the dialogue between Stephanie Solinas and Linda Chamberlain, founder of Alcor, a postmortem cryonics company whose husband is now cryopreserved, and Max More, CEO of Alcor.

Can we avoid death? How can we overcome our finitude? In Le soleil ni la mort, a bilingual book, Stéphanie Solinas questions this possibility from the point of view of cryonics, a scientific process, and the beliefs it carries.

Stéphanie Solinas’ new work unfolds on a futuristic territory, both geographical and spiritual. In Le Soleil ni la mort, whose title is inspired by the maxim of François de La Rochefoucauld “Neither the sun nor death can stare at each other”, the artist questions our quest for immortality through a work juxtaposing a visual experience she had on a plane with her meeting with the leaders Alcor, a cryonics company based on the outskirts of Phoenix, Arizona, in the United States.

The work is organized in a quasi-filmic sequence of a twilight moment photographed by the artist from a small plane flying over San Francisco and punctuated by her short-phrased dialogue with the founder and CEO of the Alcor company. Caught between sunset in the west and full moonrise in the east, Stephanie Solinas’s photographs, one and then the other, are prevented from embracing both views at the same time.

The large double-page spreads, reminiscent of the outstretched wings of the airplane she was in, alternate between the imperceptible changes of solar twilight and lunar aurora. The subtle mix between the scrolling of the almost identical and hypnotic images and the irregular cadence of the dialogue delivered, sometimes surreal, leads the reader to the path of reflection.

Throughout the pages, the rhythm imparted by the artist can provoke vertigo and surprises. The ineffable poetry of this conversation about mortal refusal slips stealthily into philosophical, ethical and religious questions that encompass the belief in rebirth, the human being of the future, possible eternity, our future identity, what we wish to concede to Silicon Valley science. To these questions, Le Soleil ni la mort does not impose any answer but opens the field of thought and projection.

On the cover of the book, a compass, drawn by Stéphanie Solinas, serves as an anchor point for this journey into the land of belief. Since 2014, Stéphanie Solinas has been conducting a research elaborated as a cartography of identities at the intersection of science and spirituality, in three chosen territories: Iceland, Italy and the United States, creating three bodies of works – The Why Not ?, The Unexplained and Becoming oneself, which she calls “The Dazzled blind”.

In the United States, birthplace of the “New Age” and center of the world’s high-tech industry, she investigated the emblematic places of this dual nature and gathered the words of scientists and spiritual guides in order to explore the perspectives of development offered to humanity, between spirituality, artificial intelligence and promises of immortality. Her work aims to shed light on the mechanisms of what constitutes our identities, seeking to make the invisible visible and to give materiality to beliefs.

For each of her projects, Solinas creates protean works (photographs, books, installations, games…). In this series, the book is always considered, as it is the case in Le soleil ni la mort, as a space of physical, philosophical and poetic interaction with the reader.

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