Madagascar takes part in the 58th edition of La Biennale di Venezia International Exhibition with its own pavilion for the first time in its history. Although several Western countries have attended it for more than a century, only during the last ten years have some African pavilions begun to appear, for instance, South Africa and Côte d’Ivoire.

Joël Andrianomearisoa was chosen to represent his country alongside curators Rina Ralay Ranaivo and Emmanuel Daydé, due to the invention and maturity of his work, his international reputation as well as the unconditional support of his professional network.

This first participation in La Biennale di Venezia is a historic event for Madagascar. It is a sign of dynamism and modernity for the Malagasy nation. It reflects a positive image of the country at national and international levels, despite the all too frequent predominance of either exotic or miserable images associated with it. It is a message of hope and willingness to put the creative forces of Madagascar in the mainstream of the world.

The Madagascar Pavilion, a project of Madagascar’s Ministry of Culture, will be fully financed by national and international private funds.


“And we have more beautiful nights than your days” Jean Racine.

Giving material expression to a journey translated from the night and viewed through the prism of torn papers of love and death, Joël Andrianomearisoa deploys the intangible essence of the invisible, turning around a world of otherness as an iron sun fades into the azure of night; as dark light no longer ushers in the day. In love “with the different grounds of three contrasting orchards: cold Europe, India with its pink and blue skies and Africa, a clear, deep spring” (Jean Joseph Rabearivelo), Andrianomearisoa endlessly unites their fundamental, component opposites to create elegant, abstract, melancholic forms woven from natural materials devoured by shadow and light.

Child of the nights of “Iarivo the dead” (Antananarivo) and un año de amor on the streets of Madrid, a lone dreaming nomad straying from the bars and restaurants of Paris to the sleeping shores of the Bosphorus or the infinite horizons of Cotonou, the artist without frontiers brings a boundless nostalgia to the modernity of the square, breathing the sentimentality of material things.

Charged with creating the Venice Biennale’s first Madagascar pavilion, Joël Andrianomearisoa does not pay tribute to a country, but to the majesty of beyond black and its mournful wanderings – folding, unfolding, revealing outlines, singing and laughing as melancholy comes. “The geometry of the angle is a point of no return that embraces the present,” he assures us.

Thinking of his distant land, the artist deconstructs the Palace of Ilafy, the first royal residence on the twelfth sacred hill of Imerina, separating the heavy planks of black rosewood to build them into twelve organic canopies that tumble in a dark cascade of bags, ropes and ashes. From the lost memory of that royal hut springs a tomb for half a million soldiers at Ecbatana, an allegorical Platonic cave, a labyrinth of passions, a theatre of affections… Gutted blades falling from the sky in waves of soot and rain throw up the wan, grey mists of the dying Creuse or the notched, gullied walls of Tritriva’s lovers’ lake. Turning the world above to the world below.

Rina Ralay-Ranaivo and Emmanuel Daydé

Images : © Juan Cruz Ibañez

Joël Andrianomearisoa . Artist
Rina Ralay-Ranaivo . Curator
Emmanuel Daydé . Curator

Production : Kantoko & Revue associations

Jean-Loup Pivin . Revue noire . General coordination
Tsiory Razafinorovelo . Coordination and sponsorship
Elisabeth Vauprès . Communication
Catherine Philippot . Communication and press
Alexandre Gourçon . Graphic design and social medias
Pascal Martin Saint Leon . Coordination catalogue
Massimo Barbierato . Production
Patrice Sour . Production
Fernand Bretillot . Production
Rila Rasoavelomanana . Production
Ihoby Rabarijohn . Public relations Madagascar
Bodo Rabeharisoa . Organisation
Tahiry Razanadraibe . Administration
Sponsors and partners

Ministry of Communication and Culture (MCC)
Mrs Lalatiana Andriatongarivo Rakotondrazafy

Rubis mécénat cultural fund
Groupe Filatex . Fond Yavarhoussen
Fonds de dotation Thibault Poutrel

With the support of

Mrs Nathalie Aureglia
La Fondation Zinsou
Musée Les Abattoirs . Frac Occitanie Toulouse
Fondation H
Sabrina Amrani Gallery
Primo Marella Gallery
Galerie RX
Air Madagascar
La chocolaterie Robert
VIMA Vision Madagascar
Pavilion Bosio ESAP Monaco
Pixel Farm

Madagascar Pavilion Friends

Nathalie Rosticher . Founder
Frédéric de Goldschmidt . Founder
Timothée Ethis de Corny . Organisation

Rita Rovelli Caltagirone, Taloumis Family, Anne and Karim Barday, Galila Barzilai-Hollander, Valérie Bach, Céline Melon, Nathalie Guiot, Katia de Radigues, Mathieu Paris and Razid Kalfane, Virginie Puertolas-Syn, Caroline Smulders, Alejandro Lazaro Collado, Brigitte Razaka and Michele Franchi, Maureen Ayité, Aude de Vaucresson, Annick and Thierry Rajoana, Yasemin Baydar and Birol Demir, Pascale Martine Tayou, Christian Sanna, Isabelle Bourne, Maria and Jorge Fernadez Vidal, Jean-Philippe Vernes, Timothée Ethis de Corny