50 Golborne is delighted to present ‘Echoes & Figures’, the first solo show in the UK of Madagascar-born, Paris-based artist and photographer Malala Andrialavidrazana.
The show features a selection of photographs by Andrialavidrazana from both the ‘Echoes’ and ‘Figures’ series. This is a debut for the artist who takes particular concern to show her work each time 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. 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 décor offer only tenuous information as to the geography, inviting the viewer further into the work in order to allow an unfolding and a revealing. 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.