The talk accompanies MEASURES LULLABIES AND WHISPERS, Joël Andrianomearisoa’s first solo exhibition in Germany, discussing his interdisciplinary artistic practice.

From bold architectural statements to cascading silken paper, the exhibition at ifa Gallery Berlin is a collaboration between artist Joël Andrianomearisoa, curators Meriem Berrada and Alya Sebti and ifa. MEASURES LULLABIES AND WHISPERS focuses on the power of lullabies as they are passed down through generations, carrying with them their ability to soothe and heal. Andrianomearisoa draws inspiration from a lullaby his grandmother sang to him before bedtime. In the remembering of the rhythm and vibrations before words, there is also a palpable experience of loss and longing.

Joël Andrianomearisoa, THE LABYRINTH OF PASSIONS, Paper Collage, 2024. Photo: Victoria Tomaschko

Many pieces in the exhibition are representative of Andrianomearisoa’s established oeuvre. For instance, the fluid black installation THE LABYRINTH OF PASSIONS echoes his iconic presentation for the Madagascar Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. While the works MANIFESTE D’UNE RUPTURE show his appreciation for artisans and traditional techniques. The tone-on-tone embroidery integrates raffia, a plant fiber emblematic of Madagascar, the brittle threads often rupturing in the process. Created with the skilled knowledge of craftspeople from his hometown of Antananarivo, ancestral gestures become forms of storytelling.

The talk takes place between Joël Andrianomearisoa and Alya Sebti, discussing the structural transformation of the space, relating to his previous studies as an architect. In addition, the event will explore the haunting melody of the lullabies, which fill the exhibition as the soundtrack to PLEASE SING ME MY SONG BEFORE YOU GO, Andrianomearisoa’s inaugural film piece. Also, the exchange will delve into the importance of craft in his work, blurring the borders of handiwork and art, often collaborating with local ceramists, glass blowers, basket weaves and iron welders to produce pieces. This sustained collaboration with artisans has been an integral part of his practice for the past twenty-five years.