Laboratory of desires

An experimental project

Since June 2022, every first Tuesday of the month opens a Laboratory of Desires! A week of creative workshops open to all, around various themes.

A participatory project

The lab is set up in the Petit Théâtre – sublimated by the Grand Capharnaüm installation – provided by the Friche Belle de Mai. It is both a convivial home and an artistic bubble. Here, you can take part in workshops on theater, movement arts and performance; share the experience of a poetry reading or a storytelling walk; or relax over a coffee or lunch.

Whether you’re a user, working at la Friche, living in the area or not, amateur, initiated, curious, professional…, you’re all welcome, free of charge, according to your desires. So don’t hesitate!

An atypical space

  • Experiment through artistic research, promoting access to cultural rights
  • Create together through collaboration between artist(s) and participants
  • Explore a new circular model of culture
  • Be at the forefront of creation
  • Propose a public residency
  • Refine the project’s social relevance with local residents
  • Putting art at the heart of civic engagement

A monthly program in tune with current events

Supported by Ornic’art, La Réplique , Artonik and Silex – artistic structures based at la Friche – and joined by the community association En Chantier – which strives to build living and learning spaces in the heart of the neighborhood Belle de Mai – , the Lab of desires aims to experiment with new forms of shared artistic practice. The aim is to bring together Friche structures, guest artists, local social structures and residents to co-construct a monthly program of workshops based on a societal theme of local relevance. This theme guides the week’s proposals. It is often inspired by current events: Ukraine about exile; Brazil, with a focus on the expression of minorities; Iran, with the struggle waged by Iranian women…

“I discovered the Laboratoire des désirs at the end of 2022 and truly rediscovered the original Friche spirit that I knew so well at a time when the Friche was still something of a UFO. This space, with its lively, open and friendly atmosphere, seemed to me to be a fine additional link to art and culture for the “uninitiated”. The diversity of backgrounds of the people I met there shows the initiative’s potential to bring people together and create links.”


Collective labs, social mix workshops

Around the work of an artist or collective, a real social mix is experimented in the artistic practice, mixing both professionals and amateurs, from the neighborhood or elsewhere. Training takes place in the morning, followed by a workshop in the afternoon. These guided improvisations are sometimes followed by a performance in which the artists show their work of the moment.

La Cantine des désirs. Every Thursday, the Cantine du Midi sets out its dishes and cutlery to delight you. The menu is designed and prepared by the En Chantier association with the help of artists and volunteers, inspired by the Labo du mois theme and the countries/cultures involved.

Le Café des Désirs. On Friday, to close the week, breakfast and conviviality are the order of the day. Under the impetus of En Chantier and artists, a social creation workshop is being developed at the intersection between a topical political issue and its resonance on the social reality of the area through associations and local residents.

Finally, every late afternoon, musicians of different styles get together to improvise during the Chaises Musicales. The diversity of instruments, styles, influences and improbable crossovers are sure to surprise you!

“I’m used to being involved in artistic workshops at La Belle de Mai, and I’ve taken part in many of the Laboratoire des désirs trainings. I find this proposal very different from classic animation, because we really take the time and go deeper into shared experimentation with a particular quality of exchange and listening. It allows the pleasure of artistic practice to grow.”

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