Martine Aballéa — My Secret Life of Crime



Martine Aballéa
My Secret Life of Crime

Past: April 13 → May 18, 2013

“My New Year’s Eve Toast : to all the devils, lusts, passions, greeds, envies, loves, hates, strange desires, enemies ghostly and real, the army of memories, with which I do battle — may they never give me peace.”

Patricia Highsmith, Nouvel An, 1947.

For her third personal exhibition at Art: Concept, Martine Aballéa presents two new series of photographs mixing landscapes with texts, nature and ghostly worlds. They tell love and crime stories that stand out from luxuriant natural backgrounds or from negative prints of images. At first, nothing exceptional or irrational seems to be going on.

A few almost banal places are depicted; forest clearings, undergrowths, the façade of a house… then a sentence, in its simplicity and uniqueness, comes to identify and stigmatize the location, transforming it into a place of transgression or of refuge. Quickly it all swings into action: One sentence has been enough to drag us into a fiction that encourages us to step through the looking glass and enter a place where real life never leads us, and somehow become someone else.

Being someone else is Martine Aballéa’s secret pleasure, a weapon that allows her to reshuffle the cards of joy, loneliness or sorrow. Such is the ultimate purpose of her game: To play tricks on the disenchantment and on the depression of life before it annihilates her, cheating on reality before it betrays her. The idea of being someone else, to be able to break the rules of the game without consequences, is often found in Martine Aballéa’s work. During the 1980s she began working on fiction texts, such as the Romans Partiels series in 1982, Epave du désir in 1995 and the Nouveaux amours / Nouveaux crimes series in 1997. In all these works she carefully develops the narrative link and tells us her very mysterious stories. The latest one is the story of a woman, a woman who represents many other women. Aballéa’s fiction often shelters characters that want to break free from something or someone on a social or on an affective level. In this new photographic series, she represents women who, for a reason or another, have gone all the way, as if the solution to avoid really turning into a psychopath was to invent a malevolent doppelganger for oneself and thus incarnate a woman-killer who represents the universality of relationship-breakdown and what it can entail. The causes are multiple, and Martine Aballéa draws up a non-exhaustive list, to which you can add your own causes. The exhibition almost becomes a sort of illustrated dictionary of love, representing all the comforting and dangerous facets inspired by the feeling.

Aurélia Bourquard — Traduction : Frieda Schumann
  • Opening Saturday, April 13, 2013 6 PM → 9 PM
03 Le Marais Zoom in 03 Le Marais Zoom out

4 passage Sainte-Avoye

75003 Paris

T. 01 53 60 90 30 — F. 01 53 60 90 31


Opening hours

Tuesday – Saturday, 11 AM – 7 PM

The artist

  • Martine Aballéa