Madagascan-born and Paris-based artist Joël Andrianomearisoa will present his first solo exhibition in South Africa – A Perfect Kind of Love – at the Goodman Gallery Project Space at Arts on Main. The Goodman Gallery will also present a performance by Andrianomearisoa at SA Fashion Week’s Winter 2011 Designer Collections show, which takes place at Arts on Main in October.
A versatile artist of consummate talent, Andrianomearisoa qualified as an architect at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture in Paris. Initially drawn to the multifaceted nature of architectural practice, Andrianomearisoa became increasingly engaged with other modes of cultural production, pursuing a career as a couturier before shifting his practice to the visual arts. He consequentially works across various media, avoiding categorisation and incorporating performance, video and large-scale installation in his work.
A Perfect Kind of Love continues Andrianomearisoa’s ongoing exploration of eroticism and desire, his negotiations with a love of a darker kind. Love is rarely perfect, and perfection is not always lovable, and Andrianomearisoa’s engagement with this contradiction is what forms the raw material of the show. How does one speak of love, or understand love in the age of reason, or amidst the cynicism of this current moment? Romantic love is never just a private declaration or an emotional contract between two individuals – it is a political battlefield. Sexual bodies engaging in acts of love are at times also sites of violence, disease, moral judgment and commodification, and are subjected to legislation, marginalisation and
It is from within this context that Andrianomearisoa longingly declares Darling you can make my dreams come true if you say you love me too, an installation consisting of 150 small wall-mounted mirrors – each a reflective dream, a yearning for the impossible, or a plea for this world to fade and for something more beautiful and utopian to emerge. Veering from expressions of primal, animalistic lust to whispers of restraint and bondage, Andrianomearisoa’s installations chart an intense emotional journey that is both autobiographically specific and universally symbolic. The work speaks of secret, private intimacies while acknowledging other, more open and public expressions of love and sexuality.
For Andrianomearisoa the body itself is a central aspect to a negotiation of space and ideas within his work. The body becomes fundamental to the artist’s deconstructivist tendencies, alluding to volatility and contained chaos. It is through performance that Andrianomearisoa expresses this aspect of his creative intent most poignantly. He will in this light be presenting Cut Cute at SA Fashion Week, a performance involving several participants who will be subject to a layering of various textiles and materials. The final “cut” of their outfits will be result of a dramatic creative process that has been openly disclosed to the audience, offering what art critic Virginie Andriamirado refers to as “infinite propositions”. “To build or deconstruct, to dress or undress, to fill or empty, to wrinkle or fold, to light up or turn off – Andrianomearisoa is situated between these opposing forces that, according to him, combine rather than conflict. In these paradoxical connections, the works offer infinite propostions,” states Andriamirado.
Andrianomearisoa’s work not only deconstructs modernist ideals such as “purity of form,” and “truth to materials”, but also recalls French curator and theorist Nicolas Bourriaud’s notion of relational aesthetics. “I like art that allows its audience to exist in the space opened up by it,” explains Bourriaud. “For me, art is a space of images, objects, and human beings. Relational aesthetics is a way of considering the productive existence of the viewer of art, the space of participation that art can offer.” Andrianomearisoa employs this approach in his use of the body as one of the many materials that he integrates and layers within his work, ultimately questioning the way in which our bodies are used and manipulated in a broader context. Cut Cute will take place on Fox street outside Arts on Main on 2 October 2010 and will act as both a collaboration with another creative industry – fashion – as well as an alternative platform for Andrianomearisoa’s use of the body and textiles within performance.
Andrianomearisoa was born in Antananarivo, Madagascar, in 1977. He left Madagascar for Paris when he was 19 in order to further his studies at the Ecole Spéciale d’Architecture. He has participated in a number of major group exhibitions, including Africa Remix, curated by Simon Njami, and the 2010 Sinopale Biennale in Sinop, Turkey. His work most recently featured on In Context, hosted by Goodman Gallery at Arts on Main and other venues in Johannesburg. He lives and works between Antananarivo and Paris.
Joël Andrianomearisoa was born in Antananarivo, Madagascar, in 1977. He lives and works between Antananarivo and Paris. Andrianomearisoa says of his work: ‘The only thing that matters to me is to deal with time. And what frightens me most is never to be on time, to be outdated. My way of answering this challenge is to be permanently against the current’. In his ‘dealing with time’ Andrianomearisoa falls into no clear category: his work crosses boundaries into video, fashion, design, sculpture, photography, performance, and installation. But perhaps his works in paper and textile are most indicative of his larger interests. Black features prominently, especially in his textile works, which hover enticingly between the ephemeral and the permanent. These works are partly sculptured and partly left to the chance and serendipity of the material with which he works. The same may be said of the performance and video works on which he has collaborated.
Andrianomearisoa has participated in a number of group shows, including Africa Remix; Rencontres Africaine de la Photographie in Bamako; the Havana Biennale; Fashion in Motion; the Design Biennale in St Etienne, France; and Africa Now!. His solo shows include Bir Gece, a one-night performance and installation in Istanbul; Habillé – Deshabillé, a performance/video piece in Stockholm and Saint-Brieuc; Bar and Une Histoire in Antananarivo (2004 and 2008 respectively); Black Out in Istanbul; and I don’t know how to begin, I don’t know how it will end in Ghent.