La Mêlée

takes the plunge

Fabrique POLA


La Mêlée is a living, ephemeral artistic laboratory on the city. Each year, La Mêlée invites you to discover and experiment with artistic and urban proposals that create a more flexible, more human and more shared city.


2021 : La Mêlée takes to the water

This year’s Mêlée will be a river-based adventure. Alongside lovers of the Garonne, we’ve created a fleet in the image of the city we dream of. Hybrid and motley, bold and cheeky, it sails on the river and invites us to discover this territory that unfolds before our eyes, but which we experience so little.

La Mêlée takes to the water by boat, kayak or raft to discover the river, its banks, artistic events and works of art. A journey from Lormont to Le Tourne, via Bacalan and the Fabrique Pola. Sail, watch, eat, listen and experiment, and let yourself be carried away by moments of sailing poetry, unusual situations and the rhythm of the tides.

La Mêlée 2021, it’s pitching and bobbing! An exhibition, performances, concerts, festive events and a collective reflection on the river as a public space in the making.



La Mêlée artists in residence:

During the year, we invite artists in residence to local areas (Bordeaux’s right bank) in the metropolis and département. During the immersion, meetings, surveys, interviews and visits are organized, feeding the artist’s work and enriching the year’s theme.


Susana Velasco: Time Vessel: an archive of the commonplace.

A converted couralin wreck on the banks of the Garonne opens up a small space between our bodies and the immense scale of the river. It’s a lifeboat that takes us on a journey through time to save past times and places, buried in the history of the city of Bordeaux. Inside, we’ve started to build up a small archive to take us through the years to come in a different way. A collection of images and signals that attest to the desirability of other forms of collective life. We went looking for sparks of other possible futures in the past.

We wanted to do-with, we’re trying out a rescue architecture that reminds us of our great precariousness and vulnerability. This vessel asks how we can deploy our observatories, how we can apprehend anew and differently this environment we now know to be ephemeral, on the brink of collapse. This wreck clings
to the beauty of the world we enjoy without even appreciating it. We do so without hope, driven perhaps by a last wish that can be read in the streets: “another end of the world is possible”.

Collectif Dallas: Circles in the water

The DALLAS collective set up in the Etuve garden at Le Tourne to work specifically with the Chantiers Tramasset. Based on a problem of use identified by the worksites, Dallas proposed a sketch of furniture that could respond to this stated need, then produced it in the public space. It is fixed and semi-permanent. Des ronds dans l’eau was built as a participatory project, and the public at the workcamps got to grips with it over the summer and beyond.

Les Chevals Hongrois & L’insoleuse

Les Chevals Hongrois met and ran workshops on expression, writing, singing and recording with a group of unaccompanied foreign minors (MNAs) from three local MECSs. 6 songs were written, recorded and performed on stage as the first part of a concert by the Chevals Hongrois to open the Mêlée.

A silkscreen print produced by l’Insoleuse highlighted extracts from the teenagers’ texts and drawings. Printed on paper and T-shirts

Cyril Hatt & Baptiste Amann : The shape of a city changes faster than mortal hearts. C. Baudelaire

Invited in 2020 to discover the Brazza district, its inhabitants, its shops, but also the players in the transformation of the city, precisely of this territory. Together, they give us a visual account of this encounter. A 1:1 sculpture of a Creole hut made of photographic paper, in which texts written on the walls of this fragile dwelling are revealed. A narrative that reveals the history and stories of this neighborhood.

Thomas LanfranchiOnly the wind knows…                                                                                                                         residence with a 4th grade class from Collège de Soulac.

I hadn’t been back to Soulac since May 1993. Back then, with the help of the Verdon lighthouse and beacon service, we submerged three deep-sea buoys off the beach, with orange flying shapes attached to them. The force of the wind and currents gave this project a real test of its ephemeral nature.
When I visited the school in 2020, I came across a white polyan in a cupboard in the art room, which enchanted me, a pretty meadow with chickens clucking in the sun, and a library with books I would have loved to have read in my youth.

From this collection of indescribable elements, moods and feelings, we’re all going to create together a music of chance that only the wind already knows…

Achille Berthou et son université du Tout-Savoir2 conferences / 2 themes: “The mud”, “The river”

“The mud”
With characteristic brio, Professor Achille Berthou-Surtout deals in depth with a subject that intimidates the international intellectual community to the point where it prefers to ignore it: sludge. This embarrassed silence is more often than not the mark of a taboo. Is the intelligentsia afraid of getting dirty, or even worse, of getting bogged down in contact with this very noble sediment with detrital elements? Are they afraid of confusing it with mud or pitch? Once again, UTS is ready to break the omerta by taking its audience to the bottom of things, in an experience as exhilarating as it is immersive.

«The river».
No one seems to agree on what a river is. Everyone has their own definition, without really convincing their opponents. It’s time to put an end to this fruitless bickering. Fortunately, Professor Achille-Berthou-Surtout, on behalf of the UTS, is in a position to provide the definitive argument that will put hydrographers of all stripes on the same page once and for all. What better place to accomplish this work of peace than aboard a boat where the threads of water and thought converge harmoniously?

La Mêlée program

Choeur de meufs : A bunch of girls from different backgrounds, brought together by Occitan canteras and the desire to make them their own. With a varied repertoire of polyphonic songs from all over the world and a few compositions, they play with rhythms and contrasts, improvise willingly, and travel around Bordeaux with good humor as their watchword!

L’Ocelle Mare Thomas Bonvalet est un musicien autodidacte multi-instrumentiste. Bassiste puis guitariste au sein du groupe Cheval de frise (1998-2004), il se détourne peu à peu de ce dernier instrument en intégrant la podorythmie, diverses percussions et éléments mécaniques, instruments à vent, objets détournés ainsi qu’un dispositif d’amplification. Ce sont les nécessités de son projet solo ‘L’ocelle mare‘, initié en 2005, qui guident l’élaboration de cet instrumentarium.

Gang of food specializes in the creation of experiences, living spaces and culinary content. A true cultural player in its territory, what drives Gang is creation, with a focus on the art of living, eating and drinking well! Gang of Food is a Swiss-knife team of creators who work together to create beautiful projects that make you smile and hungry. 🙂


La Mêlée is a Bruit du frigo project supported by a collective governance structure that grows every year, with the following people on board: les Chantiers Tramasset, la halte nautique du point du jour, les marins de Bordeus, l’association des pêcheurs de Bacalan, l’association de voile de Lormont, l’Amicale laïque de Bacalan, le Kfé des familles, Gargantua, les compagnons bâtisseurs d’Aquitaine, le Garage moderne, l’association Cartel, Centre social de Queyries, les archives de Bordeaux Métropole, Le collectif bordonor, le Musée d’Aquitaine, l’association DIDEE, la Mecs Camina de Lormont, le Cos de Villenave d’Ornon, l’Ubaps, Collectif Dehors, le Diaconat, l’école de musique de Lormont, le collège Mandel de Soulac, la maison du Fleuve, Bordeaux River Cruise, Nicole Concordet Construire, Carine Costaz, L’appétit du vin






> all projects

At the crossroads of art, territories and populations, our approach aims to promote the transition to sustainable, shared and welcoming cities, by proposing alternative ways of imagining and building our living environment and by exploring new forms of public space.