For more than ten years (1882-1895), personalities of all walks, most of them from the press and the theatre - draughtsmen, journalists, monologists, comedians - were to organise exhibitions that deeply probed, under the cover of humour, the art and morals of their time.
Parodies of famous pieces of art, political and social satire, graphical puns (words interpreted on the first degree, homonymy or homophony), corruption of objects, monochroïds, were at the root of these exhibitions. The public, amused, followed suit. Well-orchestrated advertising campaigns, a benevolent press, cleverly chosen locations contributed to the success of these exhibitions-demonstrations and costume balls - which were meant to be antidotes for the surrounding seriousness and boredom. A century later, what is left of all this ? A spirit of systematic derision, a questioning of the consecrated values which remain topical today.