Latifa Laâbissi — Desfigures toxiques



Latifa Laâbissi
Desfigures toxiques

Past: December 9 → 13, 2013

The expression “toxic figures” refers to shapes, images, bodies or gestures generated by representations and behaviours that in the social and cultural realm create fixed identities which are harmful for individuals and society because they reproduce existing inequalities, discriminatory procedures, differentiation and identity reification. The term also signifies a break, a transformation, resistance that takes place through the complex use of these objectifying representations, through their embodiment, their deformation, twisting and morphing them, all in order to upset these representations, deconstruct them, spin them round and crush the walls that this carefully policed subjectivity creates. The toxic figure is a reaction to the violence we are subject to; it is at home in the crisis. It is omnipresent in our society.

Desfigures toxiques will endeavour to identify the toxic figures that are current in today’s society. What are the constructions used? What are their effects? The body, as a host for symptoms and a place for overcoming them; performance as a space in which acts are exchanged, a space for circulation; the institution as a place for sharing experiences, these will be at the heart of this week of meetings and programmes at les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers. The event is based on the work of Latifa Laâbissi and a permanent research group set up in 2012 that came together with the aim of reflecting on aesthetic strategies developed in the field of art (particularly in France) in order to transform visual habits inherited from colonialism and what followed it. The first steps in their work were taken at the Ecole des beaux Arts de Nantes in January 2013 under the title Ruser l’image (Fooling images), dedicated to the ideas of stereotype, counter-stereotype and anti-stereotype.

Des figures toxiques is this research group’s second work, bringing together artists (Mathieu Kléyébé Abonnenc, Patrick Bernier, Latifa Laâbissi, Olive Martin), theorists and historians (Lotte Arndt, Emmanuelle Chérel) from a variety of disciplines.

Guests will be invited daily to take part in their meetings, discussion platforms and conferences (Alice Diop, Marie-Laure Allain, Elena Agudio, Yves Borowice, Maxime Cervulle, Azouz Gharbi, Olivier Marboeuf, Zahia Rahmani, Karima Ramdani, Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung, Ninette Succab-Glissant, Yolande Zauberman) as well as shows and performances with Nadia Beugré, Volmir Cordeiro and Latifa Laâbissi.

The exchanges, material and reflections will be made available through a display — a changing layout of images and texts at les Laboratoires d’Aubervilliers. This tool will grow throughout the week with additions from every event to finally become an exhibition open to the public until 20 December.

Some discussions, intended as separate moments for research, will not be open to the public. They are included in this schedule in order to give readers an overview of all the issues that will be dealt with throughout the week.

monday 9 december

Ruser l’image: synthèse et rebonds. Overview of the session that occured on January 2013 at the Ecole des Beaux-arts de Nantes with the research group.

tuesday 10 december

Figure imposée: encounter around Europe nomadic populations. With Azouz Gharbi, social worker in Aubervilliers (“Régies de quartier”) and Patrick Bernier & Olive Martin, artists.

Nancy Cunard and the realization of Negro Anthology — 1931-1934 by Sarah Frioux Salgas Place aux femmes: encounter with the association Place aux femmes, based in Aubervilliers

thursday 12 december

Chanson, musique et stratégies de détournements “De la « figure toxique » à la « figure rythmique ». La « beurette modérée » comme modèle d’émancipation dans le R&B français” by Karima Ramdani, Phd. researcher in political science and “La chanson de variétés est-elle toxique ? Du rire de Joséphine à celui de Salvador”, by historian Yves Borowice.

Followed by a round table with all participants of the day.

friday 13 december

L’approche documentaire, by Yolande Zauberman and Alice Diop The two documentarists will evoke persones and encounters that made the fabric of their films. Past experiences and projects to come will be spoken about, between dialogues and screenings. “Toxic Phobics Love Affair”, intervention by Yolande Zauberman and “Penser le film entrain de se faire”, by Alice Diop.

93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom in 93 Seine-St-Denis Zoom out

41, rue Lécuyer

93300 Aubervilliers

T. 01 53 56 15 90 — F. 01 53 56 15 99

Aubervilliers – Pantin Quatre Chemins

Opening hours

Monday to Friday from 11 am to 6 pm

Admission fee

Free entrance

And on booking for events at

The artists

  • Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc
  • Lotte Arndt
  • Latifa Laâbissi
  • Patrick Bernier & Olive Martin
  • Emmanuelle Chérel
  • Alice Diop
  • Marie Laure Allain
  • Elena Agudio
  • Yves Borowice
  • Maxime Cervulle
And 6 others…