Curator : Jérôme Sans

Exceptionally, the show brings together Joël Andrianomearisoa’s extraordinarily diverse variety of preferred media to, in a sense, lay bare his vocabulary. Neon lights, sound, poetry, paintings, tapestries, sculptures, everyday objects – like so many elements of his visual language, brought together in a narrow relationship with handicrafts. The exhibition is not so much a celebration of savoir-faire than an investigation of faire, or the act of making, in what appears as an ode to manual work rather than the prefabricated or industrialised. In keeping with the cold, timeless aesthetics of Minimalism, the artist – albeit paradoxically – successfully includes gesture, individuality, voice, poetry and emotion.

© Nicolas Brasseur

Each of the gallery’s spaces appears like a territory serving to investigate new approaches to painting, through the many ways in which textiles can be worked by hand. Cut and sewn, spun and woven, knotted or embroidered, textiles become a thread running through the exhibition, linking one room to the next. Like so many reflections and works on memory and on the human hand, the materials are stuck together and transformed to tell new stories. Here, by manipulating textiles as much as words, the artist comes up with new possibilities – things and something to remember before daylight, as the show’s title poetically suggests – whose invention suggests an interweaving of dreams after nightfall.

Like sound scores animating the space with new energy, his large curtain-paintings redesign the gallery rooms. These non-rigid walls seem to remap the space and open up new ways of moving around, new perceptions. Made up of a variety of textile strips, mixed together and transformed into multilayered abstract paintings, these collage-like hanging elements imbue the exhibition space with a sensory dimension that invites the beholder on a journey from one world to another, like airlocks leading to new entries. The curtains’ near-Proustian quality conveys many memories, sensory remembrances harking back to other scenarios, like distant echoes. The material speaks out in the shadow of itself, in its own silence.

Here, nothing is instantly crystal-clear: the works must be discovered along the way, through the fabrics. Andrianomearisoa turns the exhibition space into his own labyrinth, his own formal laboratory, to reflect the inherent plurality and complexity that lies within each of us, and in the world around us.

The dainty, double-sided curtain-paintings express the brittleness and vulnerability of human experience, but also all our oft-conflicting layers of thoughts and feelings. The two sides, in keeping with the diversity of works on show and their compositional polyphony, are a poetic nod to the plurality of beings and emotions, to their endless shades. Halfway between two timeframes, two romanticisms, two sentimentalities, Joël Andrianomearisoa plays with the poetry of duality. Things and Something to Remember Before Daylight shines light on in-between states and turns the gallery into a threshold space where two realities may coexist: dreams and reality, day and night, time and multifarious, almost indescribable spaces.

His works are produced in Madagascar, Tunisia, Belgium or France; they constantly travel between worlds and languages, naturally switching between French, Malagasy and English. On the borders of many worlds, Joël Andrianomearisoa constantly cross-fertilises territories, know-hows, interstitial spaces and the diverse voices that make up everyday life.

Soundtracked by the exhibition’s title, the large room is home to Camelia Jordana’s whisperings; two neon lights, “Things” and “Something”, ambiguously suggest an open-ended poem, like clues, hints of hidden meanings. Six large paintings, in the same vein as series Les Herbes folles du vieux logis – the title is a tribute to Madagascan poet Maurice Ramarozaka (1931-2010) – recreate imaginary landscapes. In the next room, monochrome Aubusson tapestries – these are woven – appear. Hidden behind a curtain in a small room, embroidered texts are sporadically scattered around. Minimal sculptures made of plant fibres pervade the space. Materials become the re-arranged outline of a new story, like ledgers, like supports for text. Buried in the knots, hidden in the shadows, words are like a mystery waiting to be discovered.

In conclusion, Joël Andrianomearisoa – as ever – brings art into the real world with object editions that are sure to make the show go viral. Lined up on white shelves, many everyday objects: for the home, to wear, to give, to lose… they can find their place in the day-to-day lives of those who pick them up – a potential extension of the exhibition time.

Like a slogan or a poetic statement, Things and Something to Remember Before Daylight can be read in several ways, like a space with multiple entrances that has no start or finish. By brazenly changing the direction of reading, Andrianomearisoa encourages viewers to lose themselves in the intricacies of his paintings and words, to penetrate the mysteries of an impending sunrise, in the suspended hours of nighttime when everything is the stuff of dreams, reverie and sentimentality.

Jérôme Sans