Serge Gainsbourg, the exact word” is the opportunity to discover for the first time several manuscripts of the famous French artist.

Deeply influenced by literature and poetry

Thirty-two years after his death, and while waiting for the opening of the museum in rue de Verneuil, the BPI of the Center Pompidou with the exhibition “Serge Gainsbourg, the exact word” offers to go behind the scenes of the work of the singer, genius of words and ambiguous and mysterious character.
Lyricist, composer, performer, director, photographer and novelist, Serge Gainsbourg was deeply influenced by literature and poetry, sources of inspiration for many songs. He was also a collector of small papers, autographs and paperolles, which testify to his daily, meticulous and compulsive relationship with writing.


A unique literary and musical figure

Master in the use of the French language, Serge Gainsbourg leaves behind him an impressive corpus of more than five hundred texts, written for himself and for his interpreters, which explains his influence in contemporary French song.
This exhibition intends to immerse visitors in the literary landscape of Serge Gainsbourg by welcoming them with a vast selection of works from his heterogeneous library. It also highlights the creation of his media “double” – Gainsbarre – a character straight out of his songs, in the tradition of 19th century literary doubles, from Oscar Wilde’s Portrait of Dorian Gray to Guy de Maupassant’s Horla . Finally, it shows the tremendous productivity of the author and his ability to hit the mark, by offering a rich set of annotated manuscripts and typescripts. These precious documents, associated with unpublished films by Yves Lefebvre, shed light on the artist’s writing and composition process.
All these facets, which still make Serge Gainsbourg a unique literary and musical figure today, can be discovered from January 25 to May 8, 2023 at the Public Information Library of the Center Pompidou.

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