Menu Menu Menu
scène nationale . cinéma . centre d’art contemporain

au cinéma

    FR EN ES

    The Grey Library

    Art Center

    from 19 may to 5 Sept 2021 - Centre d'art

    Chapter 4: Speaking Objects

    Jérôme Dupeyrat & Laurent Sfar


    For La Bibliothèque grise Jérôme Dupeyrat and Laurent Sfar pool their reading, marshal objects relating to it and collect ideas from different interlocutors, thus building up a set of resources to be shared and reused via publications, films, exhibitions, etc.

    Since its beginnings in 2015 La Bibliothèque grise has been exploring the circulation of knowledge and skills, with a view to testing out forms of transmission and sharing. The library is arranged in five categories resulting from intermeshed readings: “Teaching and Learning as Performing Arts”, “A History of Reading”, “A Room of One’s Own”, “How to Inhabit the Earth” and “La Parole mangée” [“Speech Eaten”] – titles of books by, respectively, Robert Filliou, Alberto Manguel, Virginia Woolf, Yona Friedman and Louis Marin.

    At La Ferme du Buisson the fourth chapter of La Bibliothèque grise brings together “speaking objects” bearing messages in text and image like the “speaking” plates, illustrated with captioned playlets or rebuses, that were common in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Among the books, documentary material, films, images and other odds and ends collected or made by Jérôme Dupeyrat and Laurent Sfar, the exhibition presents renaissance knives serving as singing scores and illustrated handkerchiefs as textbook; models of plants made for educational purposes by Dr Louis Auzoux in the 19th century; popular imagery in prints or on plates showing the world upside down (an ox working as a butcher, a horse leading a man out to work in the fields); and the rag dolls recording the education of Marie-Jeanne Nouvellon and demanding women’s rights since the 1960s–1970s.

    Some of these objects are put into perspective in films made for the occasion and the use value of the collection will be heightened throughout the exhibition by protocols of activation and utilisation: gathering and cooking mushrooms grown on structures inserted into the art centre building; enjoying a meal as you sum up a study of the agro-ecological transition; collectively working through a book about what this radically changed world is going to be like.


    Infos pratiques


    sun 30 may

    3 pm

    guided tour of the exhibition

    4 pm

    screening of François Bégaudeau’s film Autonomes 

    followed by a discussion with the director at the Cinéma de la Ferme du Buisson

    admission: 7.50€

    concessions: 6€


    sat 26 june

    9 am – noon

    mushrooming excursion

    with Patrice Lainé (French Mycological Society) around La Ferme du Buisson

    free entrance


    sat 4 sept

    2 – 6 pm

    group reading (survey) of James C. Scott, Domination and the Arts of Resistance: Hidden Transcripts (New Haven:Yale University Press, 1992)

    in partnership with La Ferme du Buisson media library

    free entrance

    7:30 pm

    meal and discussion: urban agriculture. With a special tablecloth publication.

    Guests: Christine Aubry (AgroParisTech), Julie Lou Dubreuilh & Guillaume Leterrier (Les Bergers Urbains/Urban Shepherds)

    5 € per person


    sun 5 sept

    2 - 5 pm

    mushrooming excursion with Patrice Lainé (French Mycological Society) around La Ferme du Buisson

    free entrance


    advance booking essential for all events: +33 (0)1 64 62 77 77
    numbers restricted; compliance with current health


    The new publication Digression #9: The Grey Library [Jérôme Dupeyrat and Laurent Sfar] is available at the contemporary art centre.


    The exhibition La Bibliothèque grise  – ch. 4 : "Objets parlants" by Jérôme Dupeyrat and Laurent Sfar was conceived with the collaboration of Sandra Foltz, Jean Guillaud, Glenn Guillou, Marie-Jeanne Nouvellon, Rovo and Ryōko Sekiguchi, as well as with the complicity of Michel Duru, Marie-Dominique Leclerc and Alain Robert, Nathalie Leleu, Lise Lerichomme, Yvan Poulain, Cécile Poblon and Marie-Hélène Robin.


    The presented artworks come, among others, from the collections of the Ateliers d'art de la Réunion des musées nationaux - Grand Palais, the Bibliothèque du Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris), the INSPÉ (Paris), the Musée Calbet (Grisolles), the Musée des Arts et Traditions Normands (Château de Martainville) and the Musée national de la Renaissance (Château d’Écouen).


    The artwork Plans de table by Jérôme Dupeyrat, Sandra Foltz and Laurent Sfar, 2019-2020, received the support of the Ile-de-France Region Cultural Affairs Office/Ministry of Culture and Communication.


    This fourth chapter of La Bibliothèque grise was produced thanks to the Ferme du Buisson team, assisted by the associate curator Céline Bertin.

    + info

    Since 2015, Jérôme Dupeyrat and Laurent Sfar have been working on a joint art project titled La Bibliothèque grise [The Grey Library]. At the same time each has been following up personal projects that fuel their collaborative interests.


    Laurent Sfar’s practice has two main focuses: publication of the Ex-libris series of artist’s books offering visualisations of such literary texts as George Perec’s La disparition [A Void], Charles Nodier’s Moi-même [I Myself] and Edwin Abbott Abbott’s Flatland; and installations in public spaces including the forest of Sénart, the National Theatre in Belfort and the Palace of Versailles gardens.


    Initially a researcher, art critic and exhibition curator, Jérôme Dupeyrat has a particular interest in the connections between art, publishing, the media and education. Since 2010 he has also worked on numerous projects with artists and graphic designers like Laurence Cathala, David Coste, officeabc (Brice Domingues and Catherine Guiral) and Laurent Sfar.

    opening hours

    Wednesday – Sunday, 2 – 7:30 pm


    free admission

    advance booking essential for all events: +33 (0)1 64 62 77 77
    numbers restricted; compliance with current health



    — workshops for parents and children 
    every Saturday in July and August, 4 pm
    aged 5+ / 5 € per child / book ahead
     — story time visit, 

    July 25th and August 29th, 4 pm

    aged 3+ / 5 € per child / book ahead


    general public

    — guided tours
    at any time / free entrance
    guided tours on request groups
    book ahead:


    how to get here

    — by train

    RER A towards Marne-La-Vallée, get off

    at Noisiel (20 mins from Paris)

    — by car

    A4 towards Marne-la-Vallée

    exit Noisiel-Torcy, take the Noisiel- Luzard road

    +33 (0)1 64 62 77 00