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The photo exhibition "Mimesis: nature inspiring technology", a dreamlike and unusual journey to the heart of the Arts et Métiers district


From April 16 to July 15, 2021, the photo exhibition "Mimesis: nature inspiring technology", featured on the outside gates of the Musée des Arts et Métiers, invites passers-by to unravel the meaning of the image and discover the enigma concealed behind each of them. Straddling the arts and technology, this street exhibition reveals the sometimes surprising associations between the museum's historic collections, the industrial parts produced by Safran and the photos in the Mimesis competition.
Dans le vent
Sur le fil
C'est le bouquet

The exhibition, made up of 13 thematic triptychs, invites people walking by to explore the aesthetic connections between nature and the technological innovation of yesterday and today. Through the prism of the camera lens, the ingenuity of the mineral, plant and animal world resonates with the beauty of human inventions.

In addition to the wonder aroused by the beauty of the images, the exhibition highlights the advanced technologies developed by Safran of which the general public is largely unaware, as well as a few remarkable pieces at the museum that bear testament to the evolution of scientific knowledge and technical progress. In the wind or On the wire, A feast for the eyes and also Under hypnosis, from the Black series to Electric chlorophyll, these poetic trios intrigue as much as they invite you to take the time to observe and imagine.

The Mimesis photo competition, held by Safran in the autumn of 2020, was the catalyst for this exhibition. The participants were asked to immortalize the treasures of nature that evoke convergence with technology, whether real or imaginary. The three winners, the five winners of awards from Safran, the Musée des Arts et Métiers, Ceebios, Wipplay and Sciences et Avenir, as well as the jury's five favorites, are on show outside in dialogue with the unsuspected iconographic riches of Safran and the Musée des Arts et Métiers.


The 13 triptychs of the exhibition "Mimesis: nature inspiring technology"

Dans le vent ("In the wind") (1st prize) - Sur le fil ("On the wire") (2nd prize) - C’est le bouquet ("It's the crowning glory") (3rd prize) - Plein les yeux ("A feast for the eyes") (Sciences et Avenir special award) - Multi-taches ("Multi-tasks") (Safran special award) - Série noire ("Black series") (Musée des Arts et Métiers special award) - À tous les rayons ("All-encompassing") (Ceebios special award) - Sous surveillance ("Under surveillance") (Wipplay special award) - Jury favorites: Grands bleus ("Big blues") - Sous hypnose ("Under hypnosis") - Entre ciel et terre ("Between sky and earth") - À vue d’œil ("Before your very eyes") - Chlorophylle électrique ("Electric chlorophyll").


The Mimesis contest

Run from September 2 to November 4, 2020, the Mimesis photo contest, held for Safran in partnership with Sciences et Avenir and the Musée des Arts et Métiers, was an invitation to immortalize – from both near and far – the treasures of nature that evoke convergence and resonance with technology, whether real or imaginary. Dragonfly wings, granite striations, insect alveoli, crystals, spider silk, jellyfish propulsion, the undulation of the waves... Since the beginning of life on Earth nearly four billion years ago, plants, animals, and minerals have developed remarkable shapes, substances and systems that are capable of incredible things: breathing, illuminating their surroundings, warming up their temperature, withstanding harsh environments, and even flying. Certain structures, textures, organizations and high-technology inventions seem directly inspired by nature.

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The Musée des Arts et Métiers

The Musée des Arts et Métiers, part of the CNAM (Conservatoire national des arts et métiers), is one of the world's oldest technical and industrial museums. Since 1794, the collections have been enriched with numerous additions – invaluable witnesses of the development of scientific knowledge and technical progress. The museum is now home to an exceptional collection that is remarkable in both the extent and diversity of the themes covered. Through the seven main collections (Scientific Instruments, Materials, Construction, Communication, Mechanics, Energy and Transport), the museum has nearly 2,500 pieces on show, reflecting the most varied facets of the history of science and technology. It provides the opportunity to discover one of the most unique places, the ancient priory of Saint-Martin-des-Champs, which was recognized by the French Revolution as a "temple" of technology. The most noteworthy pieces include Jacques Alexandre Charles' physics room and Antoine Laurent Lavoisier's laboratory, Louis Ferdinand Berthoud's timepiece collection, Jacques Vaucanson's figured fabric loom, the Chappe telegraph, the Cugnot steam wagon and Clément Ader's Avion III.

For more information, visit arts-et-metiers.net



Safran is an international high-technology group, operating in the aviation (propulsion, equipment and interiors), defense and space markets. Its core purpose is to contribute to a safer, more sustainable world, where air transport is more environmentally friendly, comfortable and accessible. Safran has a global presence, with 79,000 employees and sales of 16.5 billion euros in 2020 and holds, alone or in partnership, world or regional leadership positions in its core markets. Safran undertakes research and development programs to maintain the environmental priorities of its R&T and Innovation roadmap.

Safran is listed on the Euronext Paris stock exchange and is part of the CAC 40 and Euro Stoxx 50 indices.

For more information: www.safran-group.com / Follow @Safran on Twitter



Wipplay.com, a community platform dedicated to photographic art, showcases popular, talented and spontaneous photography. By presenting it to the general public through exhibitions and to international image experts, it helps to give this art its credentials. Wipplay brings together all photography actors, from big names to amateurs, from manufacturers to the media, and from students to exhibition venues. Through its community's hundreds of thousands of images, Wipplay gradually tells the contemporary world's central stories.



A biomimicry study and expertise center, Ceebios' ambition is to make biomimicry a powerful driver of innovation for the ecological and societal transition in all sectors. Within its cooperative ecosystem, the center empowers the skills of the world of academia, education and R&D consulting to support public and economic actors in their design approach.

For more information, visit ceebios.com

  • © Free-Lance's / Safran
  • © Hans Marty, Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran, Musée des Arts et Métiers - Cnam / Photo Adrien Daste
  • © Thierry Dufour, Cyril Abad / CAPA Pictures / Safran, Musée des Arts et Métiers - Cnam / Photo Adrien Daste
  • © Laetitia Montastier, Vladimir Borodine / Safran, Musée des Arts et Métiers - Cnam / Photo Adrien Daste