You need Flash player 8+ and JavaScript enabled to view this video.
© Lars Jan


Lars Jan

Sweet, hypnotic and vital, water can also flood and devastate. An extraordinary aquatic performance, Holoscenes floats between dream and reality, between the world as we know it and the catastrophe that looms. In this living installation, American artist Lars Jan faces up to the intriguing beauty of devastation. An urgent SOS and a call for resilience.

A giant aquarium sits imposingly in the heart of the city—on the new Esplanade Tranquille. Scenes from daily life unfold there: someone tunes a guitar, someone else sells fruit or reads the newspaper. In less than a minute, they are submerged under twelve tonnes of water. Amid this captivating chaos, their gestures are transformed and people adapt. Mixing dance and physical theatre, the artist holds up a mirror to passersby reflecting the fight against climate upheavals. How far can we go in adapting? An extraordinary visual and visceral experience.

We’ve done everything we can to reduce the environmental impact of presenting Holoscenes. Learn more


General info

About the artist

©Kawai Matthews

Lars Jan (Los Angeles) Early Morning Opera

The American artist Lars Jan is the son of immigrants from Afghanistan and Poland. Multidisciplinary in his approach, he is a director, writer and visual artist and the founder of Early Morning Opera, a laboratory that combines live performance with new technologies and unique experiences.

Full biography

Media Coverage

Holoscenes is a chilling intervention many hope is fiction, not forecast […] An epic performance-installation […] As the water level rises and falls, the actions take on the qualities of a fraught water ballet.”

Kara Weisenstein, Vice (États-Unis), 2017-06-02

Part surrealist performance, part sculpture, part escapology-style spectacle.”

William Fowler, The Guardian (United-Kingdom), 2016-09-29

“The title of Jan’s installation is a play on words. Not only does it relate to the geological Holocene era, the 11,700 years since the last ice age, but it also plays on the theatrical notion of a “hollow scene”, an idea that Jan, whose background is in performance art, finds metaphorically dark and chilling.”

Nick Leech, The National, 2016-11-10

“The ordinary man settled into his ordinary ritual. He lay down at the bottom of the empty, cubelike aquarium with his fluffed-up pillow, crawled under his sheet and shut his eyes. But he was roused abruptly by a stream of water, […]. Then, just as suddenly, the water level dropped, only to rise and fall again for the next 45 minutes while spectators sat mesmerized.”

Lizette Alvarez, The New York Times (United States), 2015-12-04

“As scientists and politicians in Paris wrestle with the complexities of battling climate change, here in Miami, an artist, Lars Jan, is inviting people to view it in a way, he said, that makes people “feel climate change in their guts, rather than just understand it.”

Lizette Alvarez, The New York Times (United States), 04-12-2015


“Climate change is now part of the dominant discourse. We’re bombarded with images of catastrophes, but there is little room for imagination and contemplation. We imagine a lot of post-apocalyptic scenarios, but we do not imagine what the future might look like if we chose to act.”

Read the interview