Paris Internationale - © Paris Internationale
«The Backstage of TextWork»

Conversation between Chus Martinez (Head of the institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel, Switzerland), Martine Aballéa (artist) introduction by Anissa Touati (Curator-at-large Paris Internationale) and Pauline Autet (Editorial coordinator of Textwork, Fondation Pernod Ricard) moderated by Marie Canet (curator and author).


“The Backstage of TextWork»

Conceived by Fondation Pernod Ricard with the support of the French Ministry of Culture, TextWork is an online platform that publishes monographic texts by international authors on artists of the French scene. Each year, five new commissions are published in French and English, building the TextWork corpus while opening up spaces for dialogue and reflection on art in France.

On the occasion of Paris Internationale 2023, TextWork invites the author and curator Chus Martínez to dialogue with the artist Martine Aballéa, three years after the release of the TextWork she dedicated to her, titled Radiant Ignition. This monographic study, fed by remote exchanges with the artist during the Covid-19 pandemic, offers an occasion for discussion IRL around the research and writing process undertaken by the writer.

This public talk will be moderated by the author and curator Marie Canet, previously a member of the TextWork advisory committee, who followed and participated in the editorial process of this text.

Head of the institute of Art of the FHNW Academy of Arts and Design in Basel, Switzerland

Born in Spain, Chus Martínez has a background in philosophy and art history. She has been the Chief Curator at El Museo Del Barrio, New York. She was dOCUMENTA (13) Head of Department, and Member of Core Agent Group. Previously she was Chief Curator at MACBA, Barcelona (2008–2011), Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein (2005–2008) and Artistic Director of Sala Rekalde, Bilbao (2002–2005). For the 56th Biennale di Venezia (2015), Martínez curated the National Pavilion of Catalonia, with a solo project of filmmaker Albert Serra, and for the 51st edition the Cyprus National Pavilion (2005). In 2014/15 she served as curatorial ‘alliance’ for the current edition of the Istanbul Biennial (2015); in 2008 served as a Curatorial Advisor for the Carnegie International and in 2010 for the 29th Bienal de São Paulo. During her tenure as Director of the Frankfurter Kunstverein she curated solo exhibitions of Wilhelm Sasnal among others; and a series of group exhibitions including “Pensée Sauvage” and “The Great Game To Come”. She was also the founder of the Deutsche Börse Residency Program for international artists, art writers and curators. While at MACBA Martínez curated the Thomas Bayrle retrospective, an Otolith Group monographic show, and an exhibition devoted to television, “Are you ready for TV?”. In 2008 Martínez was the curator of the Deimantas Narkevicius retrospective exhibition, “The Unanimous Life” at the Museo de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, which traveled to major European museums. Martínez lectures and writes regularly including numerous catalogue texts and critical essays, and is a regular contributor to Artforum among other international journals.


Born in 1950, in New York, Martine Aballéa is a genre-breaking contemporary artist. Her polymorphic artistic practice, initiated in 1975, is built around multiples (postcards, artists’ books, posters…), as well as objects and installations. Her work brings to life imaginary places, mysterious plots, thereby creating narratives that are close to tales. It is finely articulated between texts and reworked or altered photographic images, which are colored without any form of naturalism. By these means, her productions offer a great spiritual journey to viewers. Images of nature and domestic settings are recurring: the latter inhabit her color enhanced photographs, giving rise to a dreamlike form of surrealism. Ever since her early works, her favorite subject is the creation of imaginary institutions, such as the Hôtel Passager, which was truly and physically embodied in the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, in 1999. She has been recognized for installations like La maison d’en dessous at the Narcissio, in Nice, in 2016. A new narrative was developed in 2017 at the Musée des Amours in a scenography conceived for the EXTRA! festival at the Centre Georges-Pompidou, including a series of photographs and an edition. Recently, Martine Aballéa exhibited her installation Eldorado Lounge at the Tri Postal in Lille as part of the exhibition “Eldorama” (2019). A personal exhibition, “La Maison lointaine” was dedicated to her at the Palais Idéal du Facteur Cheval in Hauterives in 2023.

Moderated by : MARIE CANET
Marie Canet is a writer, art critic and curator and teaches aesthetic at Villa Arson (Nice).

Introduction by :

Editorial coordinator of Textwork, Fondation Pernod Ricard

Pauline Autet is an independent art professional based in Paris. As an editor, curator and project manager of dual nationality, she works with the French and New Zealand contemporary art scenes concurrently, focusing on their international reach. She is in charge of the editorial platform TextWork since its inception in 2017, working for the Pernod Ricard Foundation in its development and editorial coordination. Since its early stages in 2018, Autet also coordinates Trampoline Association, a non-profit initiative created by a group of private organisations in France to raise the international visibility and recognition of the French art scene. Since 2016, Autet is the founder and Director of Contemporary HUM, a digital hub generating critical discussion of Aotearoa New Zealand visual arts presented overseas. Through publishing, events and projects, HUM is a unique collaborative project with other New Zealand art professionals internationally. She previously worked in curatorial and gallery roles at City Gallery Wellington, 30upstairs Gallery and co-founded the nomadic gallery Elbowroom, all in Wellington, New Zealand.


Curator-at-large Paris Internationale

Anissa Touati is a transnational curator working between the West and the global South. She is currently guest curator of the MAH, Geneva 2023-2024 and curator-at-large of Paris Internationale. Over the past decade, she has curated or co-curated exhibitions at several international locations in many different countries and contexts. She has served as a director, co-director, curator, board member and curatorial advisor to several cultural institutions and research initiatives across the world, including Chalet Society, Thalie Foundation, Contemporary Istanbul, BEMA Museum, Lagos Biennial, Broad art museum amongst others.

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