TIP: The Fantastic World of Flateurville


Tucked away in a discreet passageway in Paris’ 10th arrondissement is the weirdly fantastical Flateurville, an imaginary city with a real-world address. Artist Laurent Godard has created an entire history and narrative for his fake village, and the space feels truly out of this world. If you didn’t think it possible to step inside someone else’s creative mind, come give this place a try.

When you first enter Flateurville, you’ll feel a moment of confusion. The first room is small and somber; there probably won’t be anyone lingering here. A TV might be playing, a few art objects scattered about, but otherwise the room’s a bit suffocating.

Head through the small hallway, however, and you’ll enter a room with a small stage, Christmas trees and other foliage (yeah, you read that right). This is where bands and other performers are invited to play.

Les Elles du Tambour - fabulous all-female percussion group

But the exploration has just begun. Next is a brightly lit room with paintings on every wall and a large vault in the center of the room. So many random elements, though you get the impression everything is there for a reason.

Frolic in the “playroom” on one side or head to the room on the other. Old black and white photographs, paintings, and machines; the first time I visited, I didn’t know where to set my eyes, there’s so much to see.

The largest room features not only Godard’s artwork, but also temporary exhibitions. It’s big enough to house cars, pianos, motorcycles, and bathtubs, too. On expo nights, enjoy cheap drinks and free snacks.

When writing in English I try not to slip into Franglais. But two French words seem the most apt to describe the feeling of wonder when I discovered this place: delirant, hallucinant. (Delirious and hallucinating – not an elegant translation, but believe me, those are the words that spring to mind).

If you’re looking for a different experience in Paris, head to Flateurville on Thursdays to see what’s on. You might not understand what world you’ve stumbled into, but you probably won’t forget it.

Flateurville
24 cours des petits ecuries
Paris 75010
Metro Strasbourg St. Denis

Note: Thursdays are open to the public starting at 6:30 PM, though it’s more animated later on. You can also visit by appointment – information available on their website. I’ve walked from the metro to Flateurville solo before, but it feels more comfortable walking in that area with friends.

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9 Responses to “TIP: The Fantastic World of Flateurville”


  1. 1 jodie March 23, 2010 at 10:05 am

    what a wonderful address!

  2. 2 parisimperfect March 23, 2010 at 11:41 am

    Yes, I kind of couldn’t believe it when I found it!

  3. 3 pariskarin March 23, 2010 at 1:37 pm

    That sounds like a trippy place! So, it is part bar, part gallery, part “experience”… Wow. Sounds wild.

    You really know how to find some unique places, chica. Love it!

    Karin
    (an alien parisienne)

  4. 5 Chantal March 23, 2010 at 4:02 pm

    Glad to discover your blog as well. I will be sure to come back for tips for my Parisian visits!

  5. 7 godard laurent November 20, 2010 at 10:05 am

    Sion Dayson
    thank you very much for your kind feedback of this installation.
    This adventure is a long therm process for me and i m glad to read something as encouraging as you wrote. Thank you
    As maybe you know there are 3 different levels in flateurville

    1 when you visit for the first time, invited or by random, you are a friend or an enemy of the village

    2 you can become a citizen of flateurville , we produce your id card of the village and with it you are informed of the global events

    3 you can become a “flateur” that means that you are more involved in the village and you participate to the thinking and the writing of the “manifesto of the wisdom revolution”. EACH flateur has access to the different locations of the village and is able to bring their abilities and their artistic color.

    you should come to visit the other locations and i hope eventually become flateur .
    best regards.
    laurent

    • 8 paris (im)perfect November 20, 2010 at 12:34 pm

      Hi Laurent! Wow, thank you so much for commenting. It’s great to learn about the different levels in Flateurville. I am *definitely* interested in finding out more. Yes, maybe someday I can be a “flateur”, too ! A bientot !


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paris (im)perfect?

Sion Dayson is paris (im)perfect. Writer, dreamer, I moved to France on – no exaggerating – a romantic whim. As you can imagine, a lot can go wrong (and very right!) with such a (non)plan. These are the (im)perfect stories that result.

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