‘ECHOES & FIGURES’
PRIVATE VIEW: October 5th, 2017 6 – 8.30 pm
EXHIBITION: October 6th until November 17th, 2017
50 Golborne is delighted to present Echoes & Figures, the first solo exhibition in the UK of Madagascar - born, Paris - based artist and photographer Malala Andrialavidrazana.
The show features a selection of photographs by Andrialavidrazana from the Echoes and Figures series. This is a debut for the artist, who takes particular concern to show her work in different combinations. Mixing the large formats of the spectacular Figures compositions with the smaller and more intimate Echoes still-lifes, the artist underscores her concern with cross-culturalism and the sociological, economic and political constructions that attempt to contradict it. She expresses these concerns through narratives that address both global considerations and the private space.
In Figures, started in 2015, Andrialavidrazana manipulates archival materials from the XIXth and XXth century including maps, stamps and bank notes, all instruments developed and used by colonial powers as well as current leaders to exert their authority. She uses special lenses from the 1970s and 1980s to photograph the material to allow for the development of the work in large dimensions in addition to using painfully precise and time-consuming digital processes to cut, layout and juxtapose details or entire iconographies into sumptuous compositions. Choosing among seemingly unrelated materials in terms of geography and time, she deconstructs colonial clichés and falsehoods, further subverting the colonial discourse by revealing cross-cultural associations that predate or are simultaneous with colonialism.
Echoes (from Indian Ocean), started in 2011, portrays middle-class home interiors from cities on the Indian Ocean from Madagascar, Reunion Island, India and South Africa. It also derives from, according to the artist, “removing the borders of meaning around specific imagery to inspire cross-cultural associations.” Details of the intimacy of homeowners are present by way of compositions of banal daily objects - toiletries, a small decorative token, sentimental family photographs, shoes lying on the floor, popular religious iconography. The choice of objects and elements in the décor offer little information as to the geography. Unlike in Figures they remain tenuous and subtle, inviting the viewer further into the work in order to allow an unfolding and a revealing; though as in Figures, they point to different geographic directions: Asia, Africa, Europe -- confusing the sense of place and time. With her eulogy on the banality of daily life, and by placing her narratives inside, Andrialavidrazana subverts many media clichés about the ‘Other’ - here the people of the Indian Ocean. Clichés that are either pessimistic or sensationalist in nature, or those perceived through the tourist industry that commodifies the landscape and the people.
Malala Andrialavidrazana, Figures 1850, Various Empires, Kingdoms, States and Republics, 2015, UltraChrome Pigment Print on Hahnemühle Photo Rag Ultra Smooth, 110 x 138.5cm © Malala Andrialavidrazana,
Malala Andrialavidrazana was born in Madagascar in 1971, and has lived in Paris since the early 80s. She is a visual artist with a background in architecture, having graduated from Paris La Villette School of Architecture in 1996. Her research is interested by notion of barriers and interactions within cross-cultural contexts that she explores primarily through the photographic medium. Her “d’Outre-Monde” series, disclosing funerary customs at the boundaries of nature and culture, was awarded the prestigious HSBC Prize for Photography, and released by the renowned Actes Sud publisher in 2004. She received the joint support of the Institut Français and the National Arts Council of South Africa through the France-South Africa Seasons 2012 & 2013 program for her project “Echoes (from Indian Ocean)”, published by Kehrer Verlag in 2013.
Over the past years, her work has been exhibited in numerous international institutions and cultural events, amongst others: Changjiang International Photography & Video Biennial (China, 2017); Kalmar Konstmuseum (Sweden, 2017); PAC Milano (Italy, 2017); Lyon Biennial (France, 2017); C-Gallery (Italy, 2017); 50 Golborne (UK, 2017), Fondation Donwahi (Ivory Coast, 2016), Bamako Encounters (Mali, 2005/2015), Théâtre National de Chaillot (France, 2015), New Church Museum (South Africa, 2014), La Maison Rouge (France, 2014), SUD Triennial (Cameroon, 2013), Gulbenkian Foundation (Portugal/France, 2013), SAVVY (Germany, 2013), Focus Mumbai (India, 2013), Biennale Bénin (Benin, 2012), KZNSA (South Africa, 2012), Tiwani (UK, 2012), DIPE (China, 2011), Pan African Festival (Algeria, 2009), UCCA (China, 2008), Centrale Electrique (Belgium, 2007), Rencontres d’Arles (France, 2007), Herzliya Museum (Israel, 2007), Force de l’art (France, 2006).