Last Saturday was cold and grey and I decided to go visit the Palais de la Découverte looking in vain for the answer to the eternal question: what is love?

Through scientific and artistic work, this exhibition is questioning this strange feeling, the driving force of so many stories.

« Love » is one word to express so many feelings.

Because there are several steps in love, several types of love: love for a friend, a family, physical love related to desire.

The grek language uses four words: érōs, desire; storgê, familial love; agapē, selfless love and philía, friendship, the social bond.

It is around these four terms that starts our immersion into the first gallery, la galerie des attachements.

This gallery is a mix of various artefacts, situations where you can find illustrations, poems, quotes that keeps bringing us back to one of these definitions of love.

A four-entrance approach which allows to slightly reveal the mystery that love can be and discover the last scientific researches « The affective sciences ».

Two pieces caught my attention:

A pink room in which we were surrounded by love stories :  La Princesse de Clèves, Le Rouge et le Noir, Amour, Prozac et curiosités, 

A library of love mixing different artworks (different in time and writing) by united by one common theme: love.

Hidden behind a red curtain, the second room is slightly stunning, it makes us face ourselves, in the literal sense.

Mirrors everywhere, just a bench is set up.

Is it an ode to self-love? A reminder? Love you first.

Or is it more ironic facing the new selfie generation, where self-love is more important than love for others?

The second part of the exhibition is the main part : la galerie des sciences .

Love is not and never will be an exact science.

Each person feels and express it on a different way.

Though chemical reactions are (almost) the same for everyone.

In this second gallery, philosophers, sociologists et anthropologists give their point of view and try to decrypt what love is.

Movie about the researches on love, sociological approach on love encounters…here the statistics are even turned into objects and show us how the numeric appearance transformed the rapprochement of individuals and particularly the quick transition to sexual act.

On a billboard, we can observe Marie Ortin’s publications. She is the owner of the Instagram account « amours-solitaires » in which she publishes text messages on love.

And what about the body?

The beating heart, the sweaty hands…indeed if love expresses in all our body, it is first in our brain that everything starts.

The exhibition gets to the heart of the matter with a video about the brain mechanism during intercourse but also with role play and many interactive installations.

This experience was very interesting. It allows us to think about the various shapes of love and the way we express it.

It also makes us wonder about the biological mechanism of love. Indeed it is possible to desire without love and love without desire.