lacune féconde publication

This artist book by Marc Johnson is at the intersection of art, archeology, and genetics. The original layout is composed of essays by specialists in the field of anthropology, archaeology, art history, ethics, genomics and philosophy (Paul-Anthelme Adèle, Rozenn Colleter, Éric Crubézy, Valérie Knochel-Abecassis, Marc Johnson, Stefan Lorenz Sorgner). It also includes an interview between Marc Johnson (the artist) and Valérie Knochel-Abecassis (Director at La Maréchalerie, contemporary art center) and unpublished photographs from the collection of the French national institute for preventive archaeological research (Inrap).

Date: 2017
Publisher: Analogues
Distributor: Les Presses du réel

Graphic design

Les Presses du réel


17 x 24,5 cm

Number of Pages

Français / English


Paul-Anthelme Adèle

Rozenn Colleter
Éric Crubézy

Dominique Garcia
Valérie Knochel-Abecassis

Stefan Lorenz Sorgner
Marc Johnson & Mike Sens

Artist book at the intersection of art, archaeology and genetics

“Marc Johnson, artist, architect and filmmaker is like the philosopher and the epistemologist, a researcher in constant search for knowledge and understanding of the world. Conceived as an artist book, this publication demonstrates the working methods and the ambition of questioning what is fundamentally at stake in the world of today, and in the development and the future of humanity.

Archaeological endeavor and posthumanism

Marc Johnson dedicated more than one year of research to archeology, during which the artist explored this discipline with the support of the French Institute for preventive archaeological research (Inrap). A science that, by crossing his research with the expertise of the most advanced sciences, in particular genetics, sheds light on human history, questioning today and anticipating the future. This is precisely what the specialists, invited by Marc Johnson, highlight throughout their own experiences in this book. The anthropologists Rozenn Colleter –in collaboration with Paul-Anthelme Adèle, jurist– and Éric Crubézy, illustrate today’s impact on the analyses of relics of the past. Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, philosopher, reflects on the evolution of humankind. Having analysed the posthumanist and transhumanist movements, he argues for a «metahumanity».

Graphic design and content match

By presenting these texts alongside a selection of archaeological excavation photographs, sampled from the iconographic collection of the Inrap and images from the site-specific installation presented at La Maréchalerie (April 14, July 3, 2016), Marc Johnson performs an original layout elaborated in sequences, visually acquainted with a research project. He tells a story which can only concern us, the story of humanity. Making sense as he questions us about our final outcome.”

Text by Valérie Knochel-Abecassis, Director of La Maréchalerie, contemporary art center of the ENSA-V, Versailles, France.

Partenaires / Partners

Ministere-culture-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc     ENSAV-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc     Marechalerie-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc     INRAP-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc

Soutiens / Sponsors

LVMH-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc     Versailles-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc    TRAM-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc     mont-de-la-culture-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc

With the support of DICRéAM


In-kind donation

geosat-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc    FARO-logo-livre-artiste-johnson-marc


Pour leurs soutiens uniques Marc Johnson remercie infiniment / For their unique support Marc Johnson sends all his gratitude to: Jean-Paul Claverie, Aebhric Coleman, Rozenn Colleter, Éric Crubézy, Fabrice Dedouit, David-Alexandre Gadmer, Valérie Knochel-Abecassis, Pamela Kramlich, C. Richard Kramlich, Jacqueline Lesschaeve, Anne-Marie Melster, David Raynal, Emmanuel Saulnier, Stefan Lorenz Sorgner, Gisèle Surbled, Catherine Surbled-Audureau et Pierre de Tonquedec.


Winner of the inaugural Cornish Family Prize for Art and Design Publishing 2017.

Awarded at the Melbourne Art Book Fair by The National Gallery of Victoria (NGV), Australia with the support of the Cornish family.

NGV director Tony Ellwood described the winning title as ‘an outstanding example of art book excellence and innovation’, while the judging panel commended ‘the way it weaves complex ideas about art, science, and archaeology into an engaging, well-designed and high-quality publication’.