skip to main content

Alloted Time-Eclipse (1999-2002)

Jean-Bernard Métais, "Allotted Time-Eclipse" (temporary installation 1999-2002). Jardin des Plantes, Paris (France)

This "work in sand" came out of years of research and development Métais began in 1989-1990 at the Fondation Cartier.Installed in the central pathway of the Paris Museum of Natural History for the total eclipse on August 11, 1999, "Allotted Time-Eclipse" is a gigantic box made of glass, metal and mirrors. It houses diverse cycles of random sand flow -more than 40 tons of sand in all. Fascinated since childhood by the cosmic cycles that obstruct the sun in the daytime, Métais has traveled the globe -and still does -to observe them in person. His work is a "timecatcher" -an "eclipse-catcher". This experimental sand vessel allows different amounts and types of sand to flow in, over time. The evocative forms it creates -surprising, sensual, and in a perpetual state of renewal have attracted and delighted millions of visitors.

Glass - Metal -Mirror - Sand - 8 m x 7 m

Commissioned by the French Ministry of Culture and the City of Paris. Cost: 250 000 €







China (2012-2019)

Selected Artworks




Work in Sand

Video Presentation