The Flâneur, a 19th-century concept of a voyeuristic city stroller with dandyish inclinations, is the theme behind Wanderland, an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery on Duke of York Square that celebrates Hermès’ current ad campaign, “flâneur forever”.
Upstairs at the gallery until May 2, the immersive exhibition is made up of 11 rooms presenting a series of installations in various media, created by a range of different artists and featuring objects from the house’s extensive archive and contemporary collections.
At the preview of the exhibition, which is curated by Bruno Gaduichon of La Piscine-Musee d’Art et d’Industrie in Roubaix, Dumas introduced Wanderland with a Jean-Jacques Rousseau quote: “I like to be busy doing nothing, to start a hundred things and finish none, to come and go as the wind takes me, to change my plans at every moment, to follow each twist and turn of life, to dig up a rock to see what is underneath it.”
The sets by Hubert le Gall bring the exhibition to life, making you feel as though you are taking a stroll through a beautifully bizarre Parisian arrondissement, where everything is beautiful and slightly magical. Take, for instance, Le café des objets oubliés (the café of forgotten objects), befoe which is a surreal scene in which bike leans against a street lamp close to a bench against which a dripping wet umbrella is leaning. The puddle formed by the water contains a film of a blue sky, complete clouds and birds. The artist Nicolas Tourte created the digital wizardry which sees films within paint palettes and teacups.
If you are taking a stroll down Sloane Street, carry on past Sloane Square to the gallery and fall through the looking glass for a bewitching hour or so of modern magic.
Duke of York’s HQ