Johnny Hallyday exhibition: Homage to one of France’s favourite musical icons
The French rock ‘n’ roll idol’s musical career takes centre stage in the immersive show Johnny Hallyday l’Exposition that’s running at Brussels Expo until 15 June.
Highlighting the singer’s artistic journey, it presents memorabilia and animated displays celebrating a career that spanned 57 years. Hallyday’s death in 2017 from lung cancer has not dimmed his fan following in France and around the world.
Laeticia Hallyday was determined to transform her late husband’s legacy into an exhibition that fans and new admirers could enjoy, presenting objects and souvenirs that she’s collected over the past 20 years.
She teamed up with exhibition organiser Tempora to stage this show, also involving the rock star’s long-time producer Jean-Claude Camus, who sees this project as a way of “keeping Johnny alive”.
The design of the exhibition is original; the team decided to exploit the 3,000 m² space by shaping it into the form of a guitar, Hallyday’s favourite instrument. Visitors start the journey at the head of the instrument, shrouded in darkness and surrounded by monochrome footage of the star on stage. A curtain then goes up and they proceed through the neck of the instrument, a corridor filled with moving spotlights and a blue LED-lit path. It vividly recreates the singer’s final moments before stepping onto the stage for one of his mythical shows.
Within the body of the exhibition, successive displays are lined up, varying in design, content and colour. Neon signs, numerous albums and stunning replicas of his three Harley-Davidsons showcase each section according to specific periods in Hallyday’s life. There's also complete recreations of the singer's childhood bedroom (pictured above) and personal study in his French villa (pictured below).
At the centre, however, are 50 of his most famous costumes - heavily inspired by Elvis - including one from the 1993 Parc des Princes concert that reveals the evolution of his taste for colourful designs.
It's evident from start to finish that Tempora and the rest of the team have aimed to evoke Johnny Hallyday’s personality and career. The resulting show combines hundreds of career defining memorabilia with a wide array of visuals and an impressive artistic approach to create an unforgettable musical journey for his fans.
Johnny Hallyday l’Exposition
Until 15 June