For its first exhibition of contemporary art presented in its different spaces, the Cité de l'Économie is giving carte blanche to the artist Malala Andrialavidrazana, represented by the gallery Caroline Smulders, October 21 to November 10, 2019. An exhibition proposed within the framework of Paris Photo 2019.
Malala Andrialavidrazana has made a name for herself through her photographs, which probe the links between personal history and cultural identity, intimacy and universality, and highlight the contrast between the perception of the world by the West and by the countries of the South.
In his series of works Figures which she begins in 2015, the artist explores the possibilities of photographic collage to question the visual legacy of the colonial era and its impact on our perception of the world. By superimposing fragments of images from different eras such as banknotes, maps, record sleeves, etc., she tackles the subjects of otherness, cultural mixing and the need to question preconceptions from a "Eurocentric" imagination. She thus proposes a form of decolonization through images, all in allusion and poetry.
On the occasion of the hanging of ten works from the series Figures at the City of Economy, The artist invites us to cross glances, those of the representation of the world and societies, conveyed by banknotes: a correspondence between the photographs of Malala Andrialavidrazana and her echoes in the numismatic collection of Citéco.
The series Figures
Malala Andrialavidrazana's work in the series Figures (2015 - ) is rooted in a practice of collection and accumulation. Since the beginning of her artistic practice, she has been collecting old cards, stamps, banknotes and other illustrated albums. The starting point of each work in this series is an old card, which Malala Andrialavidrazana transforms using a meticulous photomontage technique. A piece of banknote, a stamp, an engraving, all these elements intertwine and blend together to create an elegant image that transcends the simple technique of collage. The old cards are subtly and radically reworked, bringing to light the problem of the Eurocentrism that structures them; the artist reappropriates and subverts them in order to give us a glimpse of their underlying political content.
The artist's work explores a violent history and present, but also an approach in which the systematic omission of pre-existing or alternative visions of this world dominates: more specifically, alternative mapping techniques showing us a different point of view about the territory of its surface area, its inhabitants, the wealth/possessions by those who hold them.
An artist committed to the problems of History
Through the medium of photography, Malala Andrialavidrazana's practice questions the barriers and interactions existing in a cross-cultural context, thoughtfully moving between her personal history and historical considerations to explore social imaginaries.
Over time, she has invented a language whose approach is resolutely history-oriented, while demonstrating a deep commitment to contemporary issues and developments. Based on extensive archival research in situHis visual compositions open the way to alternative forms of narration, whether formal or historical.
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Andrialavidrazana graduated from La Villette School of Architecture (Paris) in 1996. Her Overseas series was awarded the prestigious HSBC prize for photography and was published by the famous publishing house Actes Sud in 2004. She has received joint support from the French Institute and the National Arts Council of South Africa for her series Echoes (from Indian Ocean), published in 2013 by Kehrer Verlag.
In recent years, Andrialavidrazana's works have been exhibited on numerous occasions, notably at the Bamako Encounters (Mali 2015), at the Museum of Natural History in Le Havre (France 2016), at the Kehrer Gallery (Berlin 2016), and at the Changjiang International Biennial of Photography and Video (Chonqing, China 2017) ; at the Kalmar Konstmuseum (Kalmar, Sweden 2017); at PAC Milano (Milan 2017); at the Biennale de Lyon (Lyon 2017); at the Biennale of Ireland (Dublin 2018); at the Lagos Photo Festival (Lagos 2018); Volcano Extravaganza (Stromboli, Italy 2018); Aperture's 66th anniversary (New York 2018); Les Abattoirs (Toulouse 2019); Museo Civico Archeologico (Bologna 2019); Aperture Foundation (New York 2019).
Exhibition "Malala Andrialavidrazana: Carte blanche à la Cité de l'Économie" from October 21 to November 10, 2019 at CITÉCO, the City of Economy 1, place du Général-Catroux 75017 Paris