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                         THIS SITE IS IST STORYBOARD.



Le Luxe Communal explores the social, political and cultural projects of the Paris Commune: the projects that were stated but not realized, the projects that were carried out by decree or order, the projects that were extrapolated from them; but also its inventions, its imaginary world, past and present, and the contradictory accounts that have been made of it.

For the historical legacy of the Commune is peopled with dreams and nightmares. There is a strong polarization, for example, between Maxime du Camp's account of "The Convulsions of Paris" and Henri Guillemin's account of the Commune. In the artistic and literary field, this polarization posits, on the one hand, the Federation of Artists and the Communard positions of Courbet, Vallès, Pottier, Rimbaud; on the other, a majority of writers who reject the Commune - Sand, Flaubert, Gauthier, Du Camp, Daudet, (1) revealing the hateful, mendacious, irrational aspects of their criticism through the use of criminal, animal or pathological terminology: a bestiary.

Added to this legacy are those of the two Apperts: Félix Antoine, a corps general, and Ernest, a photographer, who put their skills, both military (judging the Communards in Versailles) and artistic (inventing photomontage), at the disposal of the Versailles rewriting of the history of the Commune.

(1) LIDZKY Paul, « Writers against the Commune », Maspero, 1982

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Gustave Courbet
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Maxime Du Camp



Le Luxe Communal targets a public sensitive to the history of the Paris Commune, including teachers, historians and researchers, but also aims to raise awareness among other audiences, particularly young people who are fans of public history channels (Nota Bene and others) and online games, and who are accustomed to historical immersion. Depending on how the site is to be used, playful extensions can be deactivated.

Visitors evolve in an elastic space, in permanent transformation, which stretches as they progress. The visitor's curiosity determines the exploratory dimension of the site, as the cursor's wanderings reveal active zones that are a priori invisible. On every floor, the building resists visitors' intrusions and obstructions, which must be overcome by actions based on the clues provided.

Confronted with a multi-layered history, contradictory archives, texts and images, visitors are encouraged to play games and conduct investigations, are confronted with different states of the same place, and can intervene in the course of history (Blanqui's escape from the Château du Taureau, the de-imperialization of the Place Vendôme, the orbiting of the Sacré Coeur...), through certain "extrapolated" projects (counterfactual history).

Eventually, visitors will be invited to submit their extrapolated projects to the site via the "Contact" section.

Jules Vallès


The storyboard presents a paradoxical architecture - Napoléon Gaillard's café - which embraces the traces of the Commune's historical polarizations: the interior dimensions exceed (by far) the exterior dimensions of the building, which rests on both land and sea (the Commune is both anchored and adrift), and displays recurring dispositions to metamorphosis, degradation, regeneration.... The building: estaminet, grocery store, cobbler's shop, cinemas, library, museums, prisons, hune, barge, raft... is a spatial and temporal labyrinth linking disjointed historical episodes, past and present, history and fiction, a space of uchronistic, utopian and dystopian speculation.

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Théophile Gauthier
George Sand


National novel. Myth. Storytelling. Propaganda. Satire. Cartoon. Lie. Fabulation. Slander. Camouflage. Derealization. Substitution. Falsification. Utopia. Dystopia. Uchrony.


Fiction intervenes at several levels and takes many different forms in the construction of the history of the Commune. The passionate dimension attached to it polarizes and radicalizes, positively or negatively, its narratives. These different levels of fictions interconnect with the facts, organizing a narrative braid in which narratives clash saber-rattling, retract each other, and overlap.

The counterfactual propositions (history with "ifs") of Auguste Blanqui and William Morris allow us to stand on the shoulders of the Commune with the eyes of its imaginary world, providing new tools for constructing the project.


All power is the power of storytelling

Political fiction is defined as "the capacity of power to tell its own story, but also to twist the narratives of our own lives, through the articulation between the art of telling and the art of governing". Michel Foucault's definition engages a double level of reflection: on the ways in which the Commune has been told to us, and on the ways in which we, in turn, intend to tell it.

Napoléon Gaillard
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Gustave Flaubert


Christiane Carlut, project design and model__
Artist, art history and video teacher at the Beaux Arts de Nantes from 1989 to 2020.

Yannick Parra-Cabrolié, digital images__
Futuroscope, Musée Grévin, Musée du Vaudou Porto-Novo, Abomey and Ouidah in Benin, Museums of Lyon... Agence Les crayons.

Nicolas Lainé-Soulier, producer of the project__
Former Ubisoft, real-time 3D design and production, team management (Beyond Good & Evil, Peter Jackson's King King: the official Game of the Movie, Rayman: Raving Rabbids, Beowulf: The game, Rabbids go home: A Comedy Adventure, From Dust).

Olivier Montoro, animations, kinetics project__
Artist, director and producer, TV and film. Created "Toutes les télés du monde" for Arte, directed "Bref" and "Gaza Sdérot" for Canal+, directed and produced 3 music videos for singer Camille.

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Napoléon Gaillard's café is a heterotopic space which, according to Michel Foucault, has the "power to juxtapose several incompatible spaces in a single real place".                                                

Michel Foucault, "Des espaces autres", 1967

We will meet : a) information and assumptions that are rational or irrational (whimsical, fanciful, fantastic), emotional, invariant or fluctuating, and that change depending on where they are accessed; protagonists of the Commune under construction, and of Versailles in ambush;

We will follow : b) linear and non-linear paths, junctions and bifurcations, direct and indirect routes;

we will take: d) a pyroscaphe, a barge and a walnut shell with paddle, an antiwhale, an anti-shark and an anti-phoque to navigate the oceans, rivers and streams that carry the Commune, but also random-propulsion gutta-percha shoes and a belly-down Fourier anti-lion;

we will visit: c) bedrooms, cinemas, museums, a panopticon, cafés, libraries, utopian and dystopian gardens, neighbourhoods, cities, countries, continents, distant islands, all of which drift ;

We will cross: e) barricades, roadblocks, labyrinths, walls, secret passages, air tunnels, celestial underpasses and enclaves, prisons, ghost rooms that intrude into the space, invisible from outside the building.

we will observe: f) metafrontiers that emerge, ubiquitous and threatening, that can imprison the visitor in the page or expel him from the site; the commercial take-off of photography in Burnt Paris, the invention of photo-montage and the falsification of history by Appert

we'll be reading: h) contradictory accounts, eulogistic and slanderous, factual and falsified, fabricated, caricatured, novelistic; café conversations between actors and opponents of the Commune; historical contextual data, the decrees of the Journal Officiel, miscellaneous events published in the unofficial sections of the Journal Officiel and the story of Madame Sapeta's sale;

we will come up against: g) invisible obstacles, climatic obstructions, trapped cul-de-sacs, doors stuck on walls, rising winds, spectres escaping from their clotheslines ;

we'll be listening to: i) the keyboard music of Louise Michel's Outre Rêve, counter conversations, the laughter of the Magicien de Versailles, deterritorializing ritornellos, the music of the Bloody Week's danse macabre, the songs of the gai rossignol pendu and those of the Fédérés;

We'll follow the red threads of the routes in the "POINTS" tab.

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