Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa (Zeitz MOCAA) announces a riveting site-specific commission of monumental scale by Malagasy artist Joël Andrianomearisoa titled The Five Continents of All Our Desires. The installation is supported by Fonds Yavarhoussen, Madagascar, and will be on view from 2 August 2022 to 25 June 2023 in the museum’s atrium.
Andrianomearisoa’s practice encompasses working in multidisciplinary ways — with materiality and scale as important considerations. Imbued with complex emotional experiences, his delicate, often ambiguous works are an ongoing series of ever-evolving exercises that consider the aesthetic and architecture of feelings that all perceive yet cannot put a name to.
Zeitz MOCAA Executive Director and Chief Curator Koyo Kouoh says: “It is a revelation and honour to host an artwork of this scale and ambition in our museum. The generosity and intentionality with which Joël approached this commission is a testament to the extraordinary, multiplistic views of our world for which this institution is intended. To hold, to speak, to listen and to love — sentiments and values that echo our mission are brought centre stage with this incredible work.”
The Five Continents of All Our Desires is a celebration of relations and connections. For Andrianomearisoa, the work speaks to both migration and language — and the ongoing search for zones of engagement and desire. He constructs a view of the world that is fragile, ambiguous, open-ended and about new possibilities for human contact.
The awe-inspiring work consists of six large-scale sculptures that form a suspended archipelago in a poetic reference to land masses and geographies of the imagination, and are constructed from Andrianomearisoa’s signature material, black silk paper. Installed in the figurative and literal ‘heart’ of the museum building, the work is the first site-specific commission to grace Zeitz MOCAA’s atrium in two years.
“The Five Continents of All Our Desires is conceived in dialogue with the concrete interior of the museum, and what remains of the original silos of the building,” adds Storm Janse van Rensburg, Zeitz MOCAA Senior Curator and Head of Curatorial Affairs. “It is both in play and in visual tension with its surroundings. Whilst appearing as large black masses, the thin and soft materiality of the work allows for subtle atmospheric responses to become visible —such as paper rustling due to airflows caused by human movement.”
The Five Continents of All Our Desires is accompanied by a sound installation, and a display of 40 drawings — a first, significant showing of the artist’s graphic works in an exhibition. Visitors can also experience a set of specially designed furniture by the artist. Andrianomearisoa has further collaborated with the Zeitz MOCAA curatorial team and retail partners of the museum to develop an exclusive range of objects that will be on sale. All proceeds from sales will support the museum’s work.
The Five Continents of All Our Desires is on view in the Zeitz MOCAA atrium from Thursday, 2 August 2022. Zeitz MOCAA’s curatorial and exhibition programming is proudly supported by GUCCI.
Born in 1977 in Antananarivo, Madagascar, Joël Andrianomearisoa is an artist living and working between Paris and Magnat-l’Ètrange, both in France, and Antananarivo. He obtained a diploma in architecture from Ecole Speciale d’Architecture, Paris, in 2003. In 2016, he received the Arco Madrid Audemars Piguet Prize.
In 2019, Andrianomearisoa represented Madagascar at the 58th Biennale di Venezia, and his work has been exhibited in leading global institutions such as MAXXI, Rome (2018); the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art, Washington DC (2015); Hamburg Bahnhof, Berlin (2010) and the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2005). Recent commissions and exhibitions can be found at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris (November 2021); Zeitz MOCAA, Cape Town (August 2022) and MACAAl, Marrakech (September 2022).
Andrianomearisoa launched two public sculptures in Antananarivo in October 2021, supported by the Fonds Yavarhoussen. His work forms part of the important international collections of the Smithsonian, Washington DC; The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; the Collection Yavarhoussen, Antananarivo and the Museum Sztuki, Łódź.
He is the founder and artistic director of Hakanto Contemporary, a non-profit, independent space for artists in Antananarivo, Madagascar, supported by the Fonds Yavarhoussen.