Welcome. This web site is part of a writing project consisting in sketching a body of thought in a situation whereby the course of this sketch is never determined in advance.


Jean-Paul Martinon is a writer based in London. He is currently Reader in Visual Cultures and Philosophy in the Department of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths College, University of London.


After completing a master’s degree in International Law in Paris, he moved to London. After working as a barman and barista, he found himself, with no previous experience or training, curating exhibitions of contemporary art. In 1992, he co-founded with Peter Cross Rear Window, an independent arts trust that staged a series of exhibitions and conferences in temporary sites across London. He stopped curating exhibitions by the end of the millennium, embarked on a PhD and started working in academia. His interest in contemporary curatorial practices led to the creation with Irit Rogoff of the Curatorial / Knowledge PhD Programme and the editing of a new book on this topic, The Curatorial: A Philosophy of Curating (Bloomsbury, 2013).


Over the years, he developed a strong interest in philosophy. This led him to complete a new monograph, On Futurity / Malabou, Nancy & Derrida (Palgrave, 2007), which comprises a series of essays on the notion of futurity in contemporary continental philosophy. Fine tuning his interest in philosophy, he then wrote a short monograph on the relationship between masculinity and time: The End of Man (Punctum Books, 2013). He also developed an interest in African philosophy, especially the work of Valentin Y. Mudimbe and contemporary Rwandan thinkers. This interest led him to write After "Rwanda" (Rodopi, 2013), which focuses on the idea of peace after the Rwandan Genocide.


His latest monograph, entitled Curating as Ethics, comprises a series of reflections on the ethical promise of curating. It attempts to circumnavigate the usual tropes put forward by exhibition theorists to demonstrate that curating can constitute an ethics. References include the work of authors as diverse as Heidegger, Bal, Spinoza, Garcia-Lorca, Meillassoux, Balzac, Levinas, and Sarah Kofman. Curating as Ethics is currently under review for Grant Farred’s new series, Untimely Interventions (Minnesota University Press).


He is currently working on a new monograph on the topic of intuition. Overall, he writes in an attempt to make sense of time: its advent, staging, gender, neglect, use, abuse, and its articulation in the field of ethics.


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“‘There must be some way out of here,’ said the joker to the thief.  /  ‘There's too much confusion, I can't get no relief.  /  Businessmen, they drink my wine, plowmen dig my earth.  /  None of them along the line know what any of it is worth.‘  /  ‘No reason to get excited,’ the thief, he kindly spoke.  /  ‘There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke.  /  But you and I, we've been through that, and this is not our fate.  /  So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late.’" Bob Dylan - Jimmy Hendrix.

Last updated: August 2017

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