Exhibition views of “Le Dandy des gadoues”, 2019

Photos © Pierre Antoine

© Adagp, Paris, 2019

Le Dandy des gadoues

Nevin Aladağ, Nina Childress, Sara Cwynar, Florent Dubois, Cayetano Ferrer, Sébastien Gouju, Hippolyte Hentgen, Nicolas H. Muller, Erin Jane Nelson, Southway studio (Giovanni Copelli, Andrew Humke, Bella Hunt & DDC, Jordan Joévin, Jenna Kaës, OIE studio, Sergio Ruffato, Gérard Traquandi, avec Charlotte Cosson & Emmanuelle Luciani)

14 Sept. — 14 Dec. 2019

  • Curating:Marc Bembekoff
  • Opening:13 Sept. 2019

In 2019 La Galerie Centre for Contemporary Art in Noisy-le-Sec is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The exhibition “Le Dandy des Gadoues” revolves around La Galerie’s spirit of place and imaginative potential, playing on the unique features of a 19th-century bourgeois villa designed by architect Charles Barrois (1863–1929).


Taking as its focal point the literary figure created by Michel Tournier (1924–2016) in his novel Gemini (1975), this group show emphasises a distinctive aesthetic: that of an endless reinterpretation and degeneration of certain products of popular culture, some of them tinged with kitsch.

Working with an iconography rooted in the collective imagination, our numerous artists, male and female, demonstrate the permanence – but also the instability – of images disseminated by the various media. Since the appearance of Walter Benjamin’s famous essay it has been generally agreed that in the age of mechanical reproduction the reproduced work of art has circulated in many forms, including the considerably augmented flow enabled by the Internet. In the Neo-Renaissance villa that is home to the art centre the guest artists bring energy, poetry and irony to the theory put together by Tournier’s Alexandre Surin, aka the “Dandy des Gadoues”: “The idea is more than the thing and the idea of the idea more than the idea. Wherefore the imitation is more than the thing imitated, because it is the thing plus the effort of imitation, which incorporates the possibility of reproducing itself, and so of adding quantity to quality. This is why in the matter of furniture and works of art, I always prefer the imitations to the originals, imitation being the original encapsulated, possessed, integrated and even multiplied – in short, considered and spiritualised.”[1]

The exhibition is designed to inhabit and domesticate this comfortable villa, and in doing so render it at once warm and enigmatic, accessible and mysterious. The Centre for Contemporary Art in Noisy-le-Sec thus becomes a set, the potential  abode for this dandy des gadoues whose presence is indicated by hypothetical clues scattered here and there in the form of artworks.


[1] Michel Tournier, Gemini, trans. Ann Carter (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998), p. 74.

Around the exhibition

Thursday 21 November 2019, 7pm – 8:30pm

“Une histoire de la copie”

Talk by Marc Bembekoff, La Galerie director 

Médiathèque Roger-Gouhier

3 rue Jean Jaurès

F-93130 Noisy-le-Sec

+33 (0)1 83 74 57 61


The talk has been recorded: webradio R-22 Tout-monde


Thursday 28 November 2019, 6:30pm – 8pm

Digital art workshop for all

Médiathèque Roger-Gouhier

3 rue Jean Jaurès

F-93130 Noisy-le-Sec

+33 (0)1 83 74 57 61


Saturday  7 December 2019, 2:15pm

Guided tour of the exhibition with Marc Bembekoff
Part of a TaxiTram excursion

TRAM, réseau art contemporain Paris / Île-de-France

+33 (0)1 53 34 64 43 / taxitram@tram-idf.fr

Creative Saturdays (6-12 years)

Each Saturday, 2:30pm — 4pm (except for school holidays)  

Free workshops, by registration: lagalerie.publics@noisylesec.fr


With artist Céline Drouin Laroche, participants explore a number of visual techniques connected to the exhibition.


More information on the Creative Saturdays

Educational workshops (schools, extracurricular activities)

“1, 2, 3 Prunelles” sessions (2×90 minutes + an excursion)


  • “Portraits de groupe” with artist Marie Ouazzani: creation of a collective sculpture from images and objects inspired by the works in the exhibition.


  • “Emot / Icônes” with artist Céline Drouin Laroche: creation of a wall hanging expressing a collective emotion.  


Discovery sessions (2h)


  • “Un visage dans un bol” with artist Marie Ouazzani: creation of a colourful receptacles (bowls, cups, etc.) and give them a human face. 


  • “Bento du Dandy” with artist Marie Ouazzani: making of bentos/sculptures for Dandy des gadoues from recuperated objects.


  • “Dialogue de copistes” with artist Céline Drouin Laroche: conversations in pairs on the work of copying words and drawings. 


  • “Quel costume pour le Dandy des gadoues ?” with artist Céline Drouin Laroche: creation of a costume for the Dandy des gadoues using salt dough and scrap leather.  


More information on the educational workshops

“Parcours croisés” with Théâtre des Bergeries
  • “Code secret” project 
  • Conceived by Marie Ouazzani (artist, La Galerie)
  • Audience: a CE2 class from école Lerenard and a CM1 class from école Arthur Rimbaud
  • Duration: 3×90 minutes


In order to warn visitors about the activities of the inhabitants of several houses represented in the play Le plus beau cadeau du monde,* pupils will create stencils using the sings of a secret code inspired by the “secret code of the vagabonds” from the United States. They meet the actors and the director Nathalie Bensard and visit the exhibition “Le Dandy des gadoues”. 

*Le plus beau cadeau du monde by Compagnie La Rousse (Théâtre des Bergeries programme, November 2019)


More information on the “Parcours croisés” projects 

“Plastimédias” with Médiathèque Roger-Gouhier
  • “Changer de décor” project 
  • Conceived by Marie Ouazzani (artist, La Galerie) and Cyril Pirali (head of multimedia service, Médiathèque Roger-Gouhier)
  • Audience: a CM2 class from école Carnot
  • Duration: 6×2h, over 3 weeks 


Inspired by the collage practice of artist Sara Cwynar, who produces composite images by recycling objects and photographs, pupils learn about the technique of photomontage. After photographing works of their choice in the exhibition “Le Dandy des gadoues”, they use photo editing software to move the works from La Galerie into fantastical landscapes, while at the same time creating a visual photomontage.


More information on the “Plastimédias” projects

“Culture et Art au Collège”
  • “Vraisemblable et faux-semblants” project
  • With artist Sébastien Gouju
  • Audience: year 8 class from collège Jacques Prévert


Beginning from the artworks in the exhibition “Le Dandy des gadoues”, Sébastien Gouju works with the students around the ideas of appearance and subterfuge in their daily lives. He and the students make costumes, inspired by his sculptures and circus arts, and he invites them to experiment with staging the self. In addition, the students visit the Musée des Arts Forains à Paris.


More information on the “Culture et Art au Collège” projects

More information