Fair: Paris+ by Art Basel 2022, Paris
Paris+ by Art Basel
with Jessy Razafimandimby
Grand Palais Ephémère
with the support of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia
For the inaugural edition of Paris+ by Art Basel, Sans titre proposes a solo presentation by Swiss-Malagasy artist Jessy Razafimandimby (b. 1995). The artist has produced a new body of works, emblematic of his multidisciplinary practice, bringing together paintings, drawings, sculptures, and found objects in a large-scale installation.
Razafimandimby brings a world inherited from the past back to life, making reference to French cinema of the 1960s, design, and postwar architecture. He critically questions the history of interior decoration and ornamentation, as well as social conventions and the “good manners” traditionally linked to a conservative way of life and promoted by a classist bourgeois system.
His obsessions take place principally within the home, and the practice of the artist is accordingly crisscrossed with references to domesticity and collective memory. The figures detailed by Razafimandimby are extracted from a pictorial space, in which they might otherwise be contained, and projected into a present, sensorial space, that of the exhibition. In such a way, he conceives joyously disordered, agitated spaces, inspired by fictional domestic environments inhabited by strange masses of objects and drapery, ghostly in affect. These territories are the domaine of Razafimandimby’s fictional hosts, a vestigial space in which the artist engages physically, employing the household as a metaphorical framework to question notions of taste, belonging, and power.
For Paris+ by Art Basel, the artist has designed a specific environment, which the visitor enters by crossing an imposing portal of woven straw, a construction inspired by harvest wreaths. A relic of the peasant world, the harvest wreath was customarily not publicly displayed; rather it was presented in a domestic setting, when a family ritualistically marked an end of a cycle of toiling labor. Razafimandimby’s installation is completed by a series of found antique objects, which the artist appropriates by associating drawings and paintings in grayscale. These evoke the objects of the colonial era that populated the interiors of his childhood in Madagascar.
The presentation imagined by Razafimandimby for Paris + by Art Basel also includes a series of new paintings, produced for Sans titre’s booth. Coexisting in these paintings are human figures and animals - but also chimerical figures that express Razafimandimby’s utopic and dystopic projections. These seem at times to merge, to mutate into new and complex forms that highlight the artist’s interest in the question of becoming. It is not as much what we become, as with whom we become it - the collective experience - that he interrogates. Inspired by Donna Haraway, the artist questions the ability of humans to construct relations with their environment, at times merging with it. These relations are imbued with attention, tenderness, and confusion.
Jessy Razafimandimby (born in 1995, Madagascar) lives and works between Switzerland and France. He received his Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts from the Geneva University of Art & Design (HEAD) in 2018.
The artist is one of the winners of the Kunstpreis Kiefer Hablitzel 2021 - Swiss Art Awards. He has had solo shows at Valentin 61, Lausanne (2022); Sans titre, Paris (2022); Art au Centre, Geneva (2021); 13 vitrine, Renens (2021); Espace HIT, Geneva (2021); Arsenic, Lausanne (2020); 1.1., Basel (2020). In 2023, the artist will be the subject of a solo exhibition at A.ROMY, Zurich and at Hakanto Contemporary, Antananarivo.
Upcoming and recent group exhibitions include ‘In Praesentia’ (with Niels Trannois), Villa du Parc, Annemasse (2022); ‘Mon palais, choir’, Sans titre, Paris (2022); ‘Sleeping In’, June, Berlin (2022); ’Sun Kissed’, NEVE, Los Angeles (2022); ‘Species of Space’, Walgreens windows - project space of The Bass Museum of Art, Miami Beach (2021); ’Stitches. Home as Composition’, Krone Couronne, Bienne (2022); ‘Salon Suisse’, La Biennale Architettura, Venice (2021); Urgent Paradise, Lausanne (2021); ‘Real Shoez Life’, Basel (2021); ‘Favrile Figures (LCT in presentia)’ with Niels Trannois, La Vraie Vie, Geneva (2021); ‘Lemaniana: Reflections on Other Scenes’, Centre d’Art Contemporain Geneva (2021); Bad House Performance Festival, Mad House, Helsinki (2021); ‘Modern Nature: An Hommage to Derek Jarman’, part II, La Becque (2020); ‘Weaving Home’, Limbo Space, Geneva (2020); ‘Observer of the techniques’, Wallriss, Freiburg (2019); ‘I’ll see you back tonite’, Alienze, Lausanne (2018).