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Chloé Bensahel, Words Weave Worlds, 2019, Interactive installation

Weaving Hybridity

Chloé Bensahel
From 25/04/2024 to 30/06/2024

Chloé Bensahel’s multimedia textile works are living organisms into which she weaves fragments of complex histories. Speaking a language of traces and codes, her intelligent woven materials, embroidered garments, texts, songs, and embodied gestures speak to experiences of migration, cultural hybridization and resilience in the face of marginalization and stigmatization. Inspired by her own family’s diasporic history around the shores of the Mediterranean and beyond (Algeria, Morocco, Catalonia, France, United States), which she evokes in her performance Body Memory (2021), she also draws on stories of uprooting and rooting in the botanical world that serve as allegories of our human one.

For her first solo exhibition at the Palais de Tokyo, Chloé Bensahel has created an interactive installation made up of three new tapestries from the series The Transplants (2021). Created using materials made up of plant fibres and in particular ones harvested from exotic and invasive species such as linen, mulberry and nettles, her works allow us to image how the history of territories and their hospitality towards foreign bodies can be retold through plants. With their poetic titles, such as A Dislocated Glory or Bent, Bloom, Twisted Tongue, their ochre and green gradients, and their divine connotations, these works also tell stories of blossoming and of learning in amidst challenging adaptations to new territories.

Chloé Bensahel’s hybrid, multimedia textile works are also endowed with a “cyborg” quality, to use the term theorized by Donna Haraway in her feminist reading of the emancipatory potential of technology. She combines traditional French weaving techniques with new technologies, programming her tapestries’ ability to tell stories and even to sing. When touched by visitors, the tapestries are activated and light up. Here, they sing a Byzantine chant performed by the La Tempête choir, with whom Chloé Bensahel has collaborated for this exhibition. Song and touch bring to the surface both the melancholy and the glory of transplanted experiences, and invite us to better listen to, empathize with and recognize those that are termed ‘Other’ only because they are perceived as too foreign.


FROM 25/04/2024 TO 30/06/2024


Born in 1991, Chloé Bensahel is a french american artist weaving textile, multimedia and performance in order to shed light on the relationship between language and identity. Trained at the Parsons School of Design in  New York, her work has been shown in Australia ( Australian Tapestry Workshop), in Japan ( Awagami Paper Factory ), in the US ( Halcyon Arts Lab), and in France in 2019 at the Mobilier National and more recently at the Grandes Serres de Pantin.

Curator : Amandine Nana


Media partners

A special thanks to La Tempête and the Just’Lissières Aubusson.