18.05.2024 - 22.09.2024

Rayon Jouets" exhibition until September 22


Just like on the shelves of a department store, the toys follow one another, but they're never the same!

Rayon Jouets is the third exhibition at Hangar Y and the second to be presented by the Art Explora Foundation. The exhibition brings together some of the oldest toys found in the world, alongside recent works by contemporary international artists.

With works by some forty major and emerging contemporary artists and loans from four major museum institutions, Rayon Jouets presents a reflection on the toys that shape and condition our understanding of the world, from the earliest age.


A critique of toys in all their forms 

Using works by contemporary artists and historical objects, the Rayon Jouets exhibition explores toys (as objects), games (as practices) and their ideologies - in other words, the systems for understanding the world they shape.

Emblems of childhood, toys have existed since prehistoric times and are the medium for play, a truly universal cultural fact. Like art, play is one of the phenomena that enable human beings to apprehend the world, shaping the child's relationship with reality and shaping the adult he or she will become.

Some toys have a hidden agenda: behind their inoffensive veneer and their ostensible role as entertainment, they are imbued with visions of society that reproduce what might be called the norm. Until the end of the 19th century, they were primarily a means of learning. The importance of leisure, development and imagination was only belatedly recognized, thanks to the educational movements of the 20th century.

Credit and caption: Rachel Hobkirk, Staring, Oil on linen, 170 x 200 cm, 2023

The Rayon Jouets exhibition brings together some 50 works by contemporary artists: paintings, sculptures, installations, videos, video games... What these artists have in common is that they turn the toy on its head, sometimes against itself, to encourage a different way of looking at it. Internationally renowned and emerging artists from all horizons are featured in this exhibition, which questions the toy from a number of angles. Some works feature an interactive dimension, offering visitors a unique, dynamic and interactive experience.

The artists featured in the exhibition :

Monira Al Qadiri, Francis Alÿs, Mathis Altmann, Nina Beier, Neil Beloufa, Eloise Bonneviot & Anne de Boer, Tommy Cash, Debora Delmar, K. Desbouis, Cécile Di Giovanni, Gerrit Frohne-Brinkmann, Simon Fujiwara, Elsa Goussies, Matthieu Haberard, Rachel Hobkirk, Tony Hope, Esteban Jefferson, Gregory Kalliche, Ghislaine Leung, Nevine Mahmoud, Gabriel Massan, Ad Minoliti, Chalisée Naamani, Arash Nassiri, Charlemagne Palestine, Benoît Piéron, Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings, Bunny Rogers, Janne Schimmel, Cindy Sherman, Flannery Silva, Aviva Silverman, Kyle Thurman, Dziga Vertov, Marianne Vieulès, Julia Wachtel, Zhi Wei, Murphy Yum.

Credit and caption: Tommy Cash, Nukerashka, 2022 ABS, polyurethane, paint, cardboard, 29 x 46 x 40 cm
Courtesy of the artist, Temnikova & Kasela Gallery (Tallinn) © Stanislav Stepaško

Historic and modern toys

Thanks to generous loans from four major museum institutions (Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Mucem, Institut du Monde Arabe, Musée du Jouet de Moirans-en-Montagne), Rayon Jouets presents a rich selection of over 80 historic and modern toys. From some of the world's oldest toys, such as carts and rattles dating back to the 2nd millennium BC, to new-generation Barbie dolls from the 21st century and 18th-century goose games, the selection crosses cultures and timeframes to highlight the role of toys as witnesses to contemporary issues in our societies.

For Rayon Jouets, Hangar Y benefits from an exceptional loan of some forty works from the Musée des Arts Décoratifs, whose toy collection exceeds 15,000 pieces, one of the largest in Europe. Propaganda toys, construction toys, superheroes, dolls' houses and teddy bears are all part of this rich and diverse collection.

Police station

The purpose and content of the Rayon Jouets exhibition are jointly conceived thanks to Anne Monier Vanryb's scientific advice on historical and modern toys, Cédric Fauq's expertise in contemporary artistic creation, and the artistic direction of the Art Explora Foundation, represented by Blanche de Lestrange.


Inspired by the environment of the toy store and children's bedroom, Argentine-born artist Ad Minoliti has created a colorful, playful scenography in reference to the construction set designed by Alma Siedhoff-Buscher (1899-1944) for the Bauhaus in 1923. Primary colors, curtains and geometrically shaped furniture sit alongside archival images of toy factories. The exhibition's scenography builds bridges between history and the contemporary period on several levels. Isabelle Raymondo, scenographer at the Centre Pompidou, orchestrated the creation of this scenographic environment.

The public is invited to explore the exhibition space through furniture that holds many surprises: toy chests conceal old toys or works of art, and geometric shapes carved into the walls allow visitors to wander from one space to another.

" My main inspiration for this scenographic gesture came from Alma Siedhoff-Buscher's by Alma Siedhoff-Buscher (Bauhaus Bauspiel, 1923). I was inspired by her simple palette: primary colors, especially green. Green is a very important color for me, as it evokes not only ecological awareness, but also the fight against climate change. ecological awareness, but also the struggle for reproductive rights and legal abortion in Argentina. Toys are very important, not only because they shape our lives, but also because they can be they can be tools for countering adult domination of children and the norms imposed on us. "

Ad Minoliti

Around the exhibition
Regular events for young and old!


In this workshop, young participants are invited to create in the style of Francis Alÿs, the artist whose work is featured in the Rayon Jouets exhibition. Put your imagination to work and create toys from recycled materials. Cardboard, fabric, corks... this workshop relies on children's inventiveness to create unique toys! Guided by a mediator, budding designers choose from among 3 toys to create a model sailboat, a toy train or customize a set of marbles with a personalized case! Each participant leaves with his or her own creation.

Designed by TEEPEE PARIS
Every Saturday from 3pm to 4pm.
Children aged 6 to 12.
Price: €15 - Reservations recommended


Let our mediators guide you through the exhibition. In just 20 minutes, you'll learn how to appreciate a selection of Rayon Jouets' most emblematic works.

Departures every 30 minutes, every day the exhibition is open.
Free on presentation of an exhibition ticket.