“It is a shared global story. The world belongs to everyone”
A map is commonly considered a harmless tool used to know the world. We learn to read maps as children at school and as adults, they are always available on our smartphones. They are what help us when we get lost and they become indispensable tools in unknown places. They somehow always smell like home. They are so familiar that we often forget how maps were born, what they represent and how cartographic science is strictly linked to that idea of imperialism that funded colonial expeditions. Maps were the instruments used to build an idea of a world characterized by a center (the center) and several outskirts which, by definition, are simply marginal territories. This is why the rewriting of a map represents the re-appropriation, ownership and sharing of the world through the narration of a new history. However, just rewriting a map is not enough. The structure of territorial domain begins with economic and cultural supremacy, this is why it is necessary to regain possession of the many cultures and economies that often disappear diluted within the dominant structure. Here the work of Malala Andrialavidrazana finds its place. The artist perceives these tensions transforming them into images, combining ancient colonial maps with references borrowed from various spheres of visual culture: bills, stamps and numerous iconographic models inspired by universal as well as local themes. Malala Andrialavidrazana’s artworks encourage viewers to engage in a mental journey through space and time, creating new narratives, mixing different inspirations and overcoming stereotypes. Moreover, her works challenge us to recognise our own cultural references and to open up to a change of perspective.
Malala Andrialavidrazana’s work also plunges us into the world of the artist, made of travelling back and forth between Europe and Madagascar, between architecture and photography, drawing and writing. “Figures” is a collection of works in which the artist is able to encapsulate with impeccable mastery, universal themes and personal sensibility, gifting the viewers with a sense of estrangement that arises when what is familiar turns into surprise and the potential gives way to the unknown and the possible.
Malala Andrialavidrazana is a Malagasy roots, Paris based artist. Influenced by her formal architectural training, she uses the photographic medium to explore the crossing universes and boundaries of nature and culture. Social changes and spatial structures in a globalized world are at the heart of her artistic reflections; by examining in-between spaces, she proposes an open frame where borders do not exist.
Her work has been exhibited in numerous international institutions, including: PAC (Italy, 2017), Kalmar Konstmuseum (Sweden, 2017), Fondation Donwahi (Ivory Coast, 2016), Bamako Encounters (Mali, 2005/2015).