Malala Andrialavidrazana

Contemporary Art from Madagascar

About the exhibition
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Malala Andrialavidrazana's Figures demonstrates the extent to which the complexity of space and the interconnectivity between individuals have taken over our knowledge of things and of the world. Geographical maps are, both graphically and symbolically, emblems of power. They stitch together kingdoms and labyrinths waiting to be explored. Malala Andrialavidrazana has always been interested in shedding light on the invisible duality characteristic of cartography. The artist uses her images as a starting point for a photographic investigation of this duality, as illustrated by Figures. The series rejects the banality of ancient maps by inciting the viewer to take on an active role. Andrialavidrazana's creative practice encourages a dynamic reading of these cartographic elements through which the viewer is able to question the meaning of the work as well as the individual relationships between the images. The totality of the series draws on the multiple stereotypes embedded in contemporary society. The images then offer themselves as multiple writings to be deciphered.

In this approach of these production materials, Andrialavidrazana's approach humanizes maps through a process that is purely esthetic. The rigid and two-dimensional nature of these maps is used as a supporting canvas for the association of works of various sizes and values (bank notes, postal stamps, vinyl covers that have marked her generation). These works illustrate, in a unique way, new contemporary planispheres and fabricate  new worlds. Andrialavidrazana reappropriates the original titles of the maps by using them as  captions for her work.  The viewer can therefore understand how the challenging of representation play an essential role in Figures. Oceans become spaces for unusual realities. These new reinvented imaginary or chimeric worlds contain a double possibility: measuring the authenticity of the images after their hybridization and become conscious of this mixing mechanism. Thus, the power of representation and staging highlight the question of otherness. Andrialavidrazana's pieces give a major role to the future of human beings. 

Figures demonstrates maps' status as privileged tools for knowledge and perception as well as their ability to the reveal perpetual mutations in our complex universes. These polarities lean towards our desire to better understand the contemporary world. The series reflects on the nature of images, in terms of the restitution, crossing, intersection and multiplication of registers. 

Malala Andrialavidrazana series offers a perspective on the notion of belonging. Through this medley of symbols, she beckons us to question our own identity in its relation to the other and to the global history of our societies that it challenges.


About the curator

Yves Chatap is an independent curator, art critic, and editor based in Paris.

He founded, which focuses on contemporary African photography. Chatap’s research looks at the artistic, social, and political context of images in the contemporary world. Chatap has curated different exhibitions for various institutions or galleries: Intimités à Treignac Projet, (2011) SAVVY Contemporary (Berlin, 2013), Clichés (OFF Dak’Art, 2012), and Last Showing (Glasgow, 2014). In 2015, he was the associate curator for the 10th Bamako Encounters, African Biennale of photography.

In 2010, Yves Chatap co-founded On The Roof, a curatorial platform. Past shows with the group include Synchronicity (Paris and London) Cyclicities (in Dakar), and Le Socle: an experimental project exhibition in public space at the Parc des Buttes- Chaumont in Paris.

As a publisher, Yves Chatap promotes emerging artists and the image in its global contexts and practices. In 2015, he edited “The Phantoms of Congo River,” the first monographic book from the photographer Nyaba L. Ouedraogo. He also regularly writes for different art magazines.

Yves Chatap is a member of AICA, IKT and C-E-A.