Practical Information

– curation – 


17.09 – 22.10.2022


Vernissage / Opening

15.09.2022 6-9 pm


Part of

Journées du Patrimoine

17 – 18 Sept.

Nuit Blanche 

01 Oct.


Location: Musée Maison Auguste Comte

10, rue Monsieur le Prince 75006 Paris

Métro : Odéon (4 – 10)


opening times : Tuesday, Wednesday and second Saturday of the month, 3-5 pm, and by appointment


Press kit


With tact and wit, Naomi B. Cook takes over the museum of the founder and the most famous of the positivists, Auguste Comte. Installed within the rooms, through careful punctuation, her artworks at once blend in and stand out from the background. As if embarking on an expedition to both the past and the future, plunged in the capsule apartment as in a space frozen in time, the viewer is confronted with quirky and uncanny objects, familiar and yet awfully artificial. 
ASTERISMS shows three-dimensional works, videos, and cyanotypes, each of them directly related to one of the 35 mythologies that compose the book Asterisms, the first phase in the overarching eponymous project. Published in 2021, the book is a remapping of the night sky, replacing the established constellations with Asterisms found and named by the artist. Each Asterism is deciphered by a story – a myth emerging from contemporary notions, terms, and preoccupations, questioning among others the Anthropocene, climate change, online dating, robotics, and artificial intelligence. The collection is meant to be used as a pocket guide to the interpretation of our night sky, reading through the stars to decode the present. Neither entirely fact, nor fiction, the artist embraces the positivist tradition, grounding each myth on an element based on a verifiable certainty. 
Be it a horned snake, a group of tardigrades playing soccer, or a flashing human heart, all the objects in the exhibition are open to being read and understood through self-projection, echoing the process itself of identifying the Asterisms and their stories. The key work in the show, Asterisms Rosace, is conceived of 8 separate light boxes, which when assembled present a human-sized representation of our sky’s northern hemisphere. As a sublime mirror of sorts, it summons the viewer to dive into its skies, breaking from the mundane and embracing the infinity we are all part of. 
Conceived from a gentle feminist standpoint, the exhibition provides a break from obsolete reference points, bringing forward a much-needed contemporary outlook on societal paradigms. 
Naomi B. Cook’s installations marry the space with sense and harmony, considering Auguste Comte’s infatuation with both Astronomy, and systems of reorganizing the world. The artist penetrates the philosopher’s intimacy, echoing her works to the objects of his daily life – his desk, stove, closet – but also to his most sacred altar, the chair of his beloved Clotilde de Vaux, his muse and inspiration. 
Besides his colossal work in the field of philosophy, originating and theorising the Positivist movement, Comte spent a good part of his later life founding a new belief, the Religion of Humanity. Formed on positivist convictions, this religion would replace saints with factual historical figures, thus remapping the Christian traditions and calendar in what he saw as a contemporary positivist approach to religion. In a similar sense, Naomi B. Cook adopts Comte’s perspective for treating outdated systems and proposing creative solutions with enthusiastic initiative and a modern attitude.
Comte and Cook’s fascinating union leaves the viewer perplexed in a seemingly graspable surrounding but which, at a closer look, remains a great deal encrypted, thus inspiring curiosity and intrigue. In her correspondence with Comte, Clotilde de Vaux once said: “Although to me life seems to be a thing more dreadful than beautiful, I still cling on to it; trying to see its sides as much as possible”; which is perhaps her definition of progress. 
Text : Gabriela Anco