Nuit Blanche 2024: Fire at the Station!

DATEJUNE 1, 2024

As part of the official program associated with Nuit Blanche, the event that celebrates contemporary creation in all its forms on the streets of Paris, young artist Léo Nataf takes over La Caserne, a former fire station transformed into a sustainable fashion incubator, a venue for events and meetings in the 10th arrondissement of Paris. A visual artist and co-founder of the festive collective La Kasba, Nataf thrives on the meeting of cultures, bringing together a plurality of histories, forms and materials. In response to his solo exhibition, a La Kasba evening features four fusion-oriented DJs (Sharouh, Cheb Gero, Axel Rey and DJ Gaga), while self-taught chef Julien Sebbag is invited to design a culinary happening with Mediterranean flavors. This event is curated by Victoria Jonathan, co-founder of Doors.

View of the exhibition, 2024. Credit : Kim, from La Caserne

An exhibition of Léo Nataf

Animal skulls, flints, masks, headdresses, camel skins used to make parchments, gri-gris, ritual objects, volcanic rock, stones picked up along the way…

Léo Nataf’s travels, which have taken him from hunter-gatherer communities (in the Amazon, Papua New Guinea and Mexico) to lands linked to the Jewish, Amazigh, Arab and African cultures of many of his ancestors (Tunisia, Morocco, Lebanon, Ethiopia), have brought back all kinds of objects that influence, or even directly integrate, his multi-faceted artistic practice (sculpture, painting, performance).

Whether offered as gifts during rituals and encounters, created in collaboration with craftsmen and shamans, or taken home as souvenirs of experiences, the objects resulting from these relationships embody the idea of a different relation with the world, where “the hyper-concrete and the hyper-spiritual coexist”.

Back in Saint-Denis, from his kiln in the studio come forms nourished by hybrid materials (bone, flint, teeth, ceramics, marble, cellular concrete, moss, wood, metal) blended by the transformative power of fire, which also invites itself onto canvases in incandescent colors.

Fake archaeological remains of strange creatures with sparkling reflections, pastel warriors and sphinxes with silhouettes both raw and fragile, spheres where synthetic moss and volcanic rock fuse their materials, fire has the power to create a whole from disparate ingredients, to melt their original differences to create hybrid and generous works.

View of the exhibition “Origine(s)” by Léo Nataf, Boulakia Gallery (London), Oct-Nov 2022 ©Léo Nataf
Work from the series “J’aimerais que la colline raconte” ©Léo Nataf

Léo Nataf lets himself be guided by the flashlight, plays with the accidents created by kiln firing, revels in the power of transformation and reinvention of flames.

For this descendant of North African exiles and Polish survivors of the Nazi genocide, who emigrated to France in the mid-20th century, questions of collective memory and intangible transmission of identity – of a plural identity haunted by disappearance and questions about origins – are central.

The object-work of art acts as an intercessor to another space and time, sometimes buried within oneself. As the bearer of a shattered past, nourished by Yiddish legends, the silences of the mellah and tales of seaside adventures in Tunis, the artist recreates fetishes charged with dreams and beliefs, even reinventing his own places and objects of worship.

A roofless temple is lit by the moon in the middle of the desert; the palm trees and blue doors of Sidi bou Said recounted by grandparents are fixed on a carpet woven by artisans in southern Morocco; ornaments engraved with Berber, Jewish, Muslim and Tuareg signs and symbols adorn a camel; mezuzah (an object affixed to the entrance of Jewish homes) and menorah (a seven-branched candlestick) bear Abraham’s lelekh lekha (“go to return to yourself”).

Biography of the artist

Léo Nataf is a visual artist born in Paris in 1994. A graduate of Saint Martins School of Art (London), he lives and works in Saint-Denis.

Passionate about anthropology, his approach is punctuated by a back-and-forth between his own culture and those of others, between individual histories and collective history.

Whether following in the footsteps of his Jewish family, exiled from North Africa, or immersing himself in the last hunter-gatherer societies of Amazonia, Mexico and Papua New Guinea, Léo Nataf brings back from his travels all kinds of objects that influence, or even directly integrate, a multi-faceted artistic practice (sculpture, painting, performance) nourished by hybrid materials.

He has participated in the Biennale de Paname, the Dalala Festival (Paris) and exhibitions at 3537 (Paris), Clavé Fine Art (Paris), Agar (Cavaillon) and Galerie Boulakia (London).

Léo Nataf is co-founder of the La Kasba collective, which organizes DJ evenings based on North African culture in a variety of Parisian venues (Marais art gallery, Belleville Tunisian restaurant, Jardins de Bagatelle).

©Léo Nataf

Views of the event


© Léo Nataf et Kim


© Léo Nataf et Kim


© Sarah Jonathan


© Léo Nataf et Kim


© Léo Nataf et Kim


© Léo Nataf et Kim


© Léo Nataf et Kim

 PHOTO-2024-06-02-11-30-31 2

© Gabrielle Petiau


© Léo Nataf et Kim

Culinary happening with Julien Sebbag

Julien Sebbag is a young, self-taught chef at the helm of several restaurants in Paris and Marseille, including Créatures on the Galeries Lafayette rooftop and Forest at the Musée d’Art Moderne.

Committed to responsible cooking, he takes a contemporary, open-minded approach to cuisine, citing Italian chef Massimo Bottura, Tim Burton and the Velvet Underground among his sources of inspiration.

They collaborated with Léo Nataf in 2022 to create a “hunter-gatherer” themed dinner at the Clavé Fine Art Gallery.

©Julien Sebbag
Julien Sebbag and Léo Nataf preparing dinner for the “Taire la Matière” exhibition at the Clave Fine Art gallery, 2022

DJ Set : La Kasba X Nuit Blanche

Léo Nataf is co-founder of the La Kasba collective, which organizes DJ evenings based on North African culture in a variety of Parisian venues (Marais art gallery, Belleville Tunisian restaurant, Jardins de Bagatelle).

For its Carte blanche, La Kasba takes over the courtyard and club of La Caserne for a concert and DJ set.

4 DJS : Sharouh, Axel Rey, Cheb Gero, DJ Gaga/Gadji FC



Mediterranean DJ and producer Sharouh (Sarah Perez) invites electro to blend with music from the Maghreb, the Middle East, Greece and Turkey. In a process of reappropriation and rewriting, she is interested in forms of musical syncretism – Judeo-Arabic, Amazigh, Mizrahi… – as well as the role of women in this heritage. Her remixes of the great female singers of North Africa sometimes give way to acid and punk touches in vibrant sets where samples of feminist speeches rub shoulders with oriental percussion and analog synths. Sharouh performs in France (New Morning, Bellevilloise, Badaboum, Petit Bain, Institut du Monde Arabe, Palais de la Porte Dorée-Musée national de l’histoire de l’immigration, Tunis sur Seine, Dock des Suds Marseille) and around the world (Beirut Electro Parade, Radio Primavera Sound in Barcelona, Kabana in Marrakech, Institut français in Tunis and Khartoum). Sharouh is also co-founder of We Make Noise, an association that encourages women to get involved in music production through training workshops.

Site + Soundcloud + Instagram 

©Cheb Gero

Cheb Gero

DJ and founder of the Akuphone label, Cheb Gero (Fabrice Géry) is a music collector and enthusiast. Cheb Gero’s DJ sets focus on the SWANA region, offering a broad vision of popular cultures and subcultures from the 1960s to the present day. From Algerian chaabi to Syrian electronic dabke, his selections based on vinyl, cassettes, CDs or digital media invite you to dance and reflect the rich musical heritages of these territories. In 2015, after many years as a record shop owner, he launched Akuphone in the spirit of “archives”, driven by a desire to “explore the world in music”. With an approach akin to musical archaeology, he seeks to bring to light the work of little-known or forgotten artists, far from a romantic or fetishistic vision of non-Western music. Akuphone’s productions are all proposals that encourage us to decentralize our point of view, our gaze and our listening, thanks to music that, formed through the intercultural exchanges that globalization has accelerated, gives pride of place to fusions. In 2022, he created the Elmir entity specializing in repertoires from North Africa and the Middle East on behalf of the veteran in this field, MLP.

Site + Soundcloud + Instagram

©Axel Rey

Axel Rey

Passionate about music and travel from an early age, Axel Rey has built his musical collection on the cultural discoveries that inspire him. From Bahian samba to African Deep, from Middle Atlas Amazigh to Chicago House, Axel’s musical range is eclectic and meticulous. In 2021, he launches his third major musical project: the Blue Pepper EP, a groovy, colorful digest of deep house. A fixture on the Paris scene and founder of Gi Nea Paris (his organic, ethnic party project), Axel has had the chance to play alongside such great artists as Joseph Capriati, Guy Gerber, Valeron, MoBlack and Da Capo.

Soundcloud + Instagram

©Dj Gaga

DJ Gaga – Gadji FC

Garance Marillier is no stranger to the silver screen, where she has made her mark as a cannibal student (Grave), a young prostitute (Madame Claude) and a star of women’s soccer (Marinette). But the actress is also passionate about music, and trained for years in trombone and classical percussion at the Conservatoire du 11e arrondissement. She returned to her first love by becoming DJ GAGA, drawing inspiration from techno, pop, eurodance and trance rhythms to get the crowds dancing to a high bpm! This career was born surrounded by Gadji FC, a team and a collective where soccer unites all fields of creation, from music to performance, in a federating perspective of sharing and inclusion of FLINTAs (women, lesbians, intersex, non-binary, agender). Gadji FC takes over Galerie du 19M for a carte blanche weekend on May 25 and 26.


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