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25/05/2023 Anissa Touati – Sponsor of the event “Les Correspondances 2023


Portrait Anaissa Touati :

Anissa Touati is a French independent curator and curator, trained as an archaeologist. She is curator-at-large of Paris Internationale, guest curator of the MAH in Geneva, guest curator at the Thalie Foundation (Brussels) and artistic director of the Pavilion for a Mediterranean Nation of the Lagos Biennale 2023-2024 (Nigeria). She was artistic director of Contemporary Istanbul – a project for which she built a programme of reflection around the question of Mediterraneanism – and associate director of the Chalet Society in Paris.



By Aurelia Vigouroux  Consultante RSE, board member de Paris Internationale  et Fondation Constructa.

French version here

Maryline Bellieud-Vigouroux: “What made you decide to become an exhibition curator?”

Anissa Touati : “I have always been surrounded by a cultural effervescence, surrounded by artists, musicians, actors. I believe that art has a function of connecting worlds that sometimes don’t speak to each other and allows certain institutions to be linked. A curator is not only an artistic actor, he or she also acts as a cultural and political actor.”


Aurelia Vigouroux: “Throughout your career, what have been the elements that have built your identity and how would you define it?

Anissa Touati: “I have spent a lot of time defending artists from the so-called ‘global south’.  I have done a lot of travelling to understand these countries in their singularities: South America, Middle East, Africa, South Asia.”


Aurelia Vigouroux: “What do you think of the concept of porosity in art? ”

Anissa Touati: “I think that porosity is essential and that art forms have never been totally separated from each other. The same goes for the artist/artisan division which is a relatively recent production. I find that porosity, especially between cultures, allows us to rediscover a kind of lost unity between expressive forms and I have always worked like that. Art cannot be national.”

Aurelia Vigouroux: “How did you start collaborating with the world of Fashion?”

Anissa Touati: “Fashion has often been a support. My first collaboration was with the Swiss shoe and leather goods manufacturer Bally within a Maison Prouvé on the occasion of Art Basel and Basel Miami, where I put together a project highlighting its design collection composed of furniture by Pierre Jeanneret, Jean Prouvé and Mallet Stevens in resonance with a unique piece by the French artist duo Kolkoz and the American artist Zak Kitnick.”


Aurelia Vigouroux: “You curated the Koché carte blanche of the OpenMyMed festival. How did you conceive the contemporary art counterpart of this festival?”

Anissa Touati: “This is a typical example of porosity. I designed the exhibition so that you would be in the position of someone watching a fashion show. When you came into the exhibition space, all you saw were white walls. But once you walked through the exhibition space, in reverse, the whole exhibition unfolded.”


Aurelia Vigouroux: “How did you approach Marseille? What did you want to express in the choice of artists in the two exhibition spaces: Avenue de la République and the Docs? “

Anissa Touati: “For me Marseille is a platform, a city rather than a town; a place of crossroads with its own ancient history.  It is a place of eclectic abundance with fragments of culture, an African, Maghrebian, Arab and Latin migratory crossroads. I wanted to reactivate this heritage. “


Aurelia Vigouroux: “The OpenMymed festival highlighted the richness of Mediterranean culture, a strong anchor that remains at the heart of the Foundation’s project today. What is your relationship with this Mediterranean culture?”

Anissa Touati: “The Mediterranean is a space of interaction between civilisations, heritages and traditions that are varied and, in certain aspects, common.  Part of my family has its roots there.”


Aurelia Vigouroux: “You are now a Friend of the MMM Fund, what do you think of its role and how do you see your own role in this fund?”

Anissa Touati: “Over the last few years, I have invested a lot of time on this front, I have worked in several countries in the Mediterranean basin. From my point of view, there are not enough opportunities to create constructive and equal collaborations between Mediterranean countries. So I try to create links of mutual listening. Since the Mediterranean basin is historically a place of economic and cultural exchange, I am trying to recreate these links and to give a voice to those who are not heard. There is certainly a Mediterranean unity, but on the other hand, there are political divisions and we cannot pretend that this does not exist. My role is to give more voice to these creators. “


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