This first participation of Madagascar in La Biennale di Venezia 2019 is produced thanks to a collaboration, as well as mutual confidence, between the Ministry of Communication and Culture of the Republic of Madagascar and the Kantoko Association alongside the Revue Noire Association.


Project background


March 2018: the Kantoko Association has receives the approval of the Ministry of Communication and Culture of the Republic of Madagascar to apply to la Biennale di Venezia

June 2018: the application file is filed with deposited to La Biennale di Venezia

July 2018: La Biennale de Venezia summons the producers of the project and the artist for an interview

August 2018: La Biennale di Venezia confirms the participation of Madagascar

September 2018: contractualization of the participation



The roles between the partners and actors in this project were divided as follows:


The Commissionner is the Ministry of Communication and Culture of the Republic of Madagascar

The artist is Joël Andrianomearisoa

The curators of the exhibition are Rina Ralay Ranaivo and Emmanuel Daydé

The producers are the associations Kantoko in Antananarivo and Revue Noire in Paris




The Kantoko Association was created in 2015 by a group of Malagasy artists and professionals who are aware of the importance to act now and collectively engage in the development and promotion of Arts and Culture in Madagascar.

It is the symbol of its determination to take charge of its own destiny, continually challenged by a complex and precarious general context.


Since 2007, the association’s founders have been the masterminds and promoters of various cultural and artistic projects.

With public institutions and local private support, they have organized events that have marked the collective imagination, including the international exhibition: 30 et Presque-songes (2007-2011), or the project Parlez-moi (2016) for an exploration of the city of Antananarivo through performances and aesthetic proposals presented in several original and surprising places.

Kantoko’s latest production was an important multidisciplinary, collective and retrospective exhibition about contemporary Malagasy artistic expressions: Ici la limite du royaume est la mer (2018)


The members of the association are convinced that these projects are concrete ways to federate the living forces and creative energies of their country, but they are also ways of creating a working bond of complicity and friendship with and between the different actors of Malagasy society, which is increasingly fragmented and stratified and in search of new common references, common collective values to share positive images to look up to.


Following up on these actions, the Kantoko association is engaged on the production of this first Malagasy Pavilion at the 58th edition of La Biennale di Venezia. With artist Joël Andrianomearisoa, the association obtained the Ministry of Culture’s valuable support in carrying out the noble task of setting up a positive and creative image of Madagascar in one of the world’s most important and prestigious contemporary art event.


This rendez-vous with history is now a collective source of pride shared with the whole country.


Rina Ralay Ranaivo is the President of the association, Solonirina Marie Joséphine is the secretary general, Lisiane Randrianalisoa the treasurer




Revue Noire, a commitment


The association Revue Noire is based on the creation, in 1991, of the magazine bearing the same name and pertaining to contemporary African creations. 

Founders Jean Loup Pivin and Pascal Martin Saint Léon are still at the helm, as they have been since its very beginnings. Today, in its associative form, its activity focuses on helping world artists and their projects with a re-activated editorial part.


Revue Noire was created to reveal and help artists and creators of the African continent and its diaspora make their names throughout the world

With the friends who have been there since the first, Simon Njami, Bruno Tilliete and N’Goné Fall, the symbol of the reward for their efforts in revealing more than three thousand unknown artists in the past ten years, is that African talents living in Africa can now take their part in La Biennale di Venezia. Not an “African art” event  in Europe or the USA but in the world-class excellence of contemporary art. 


To be in the temple of this recognition is a sign of the end of the indifference of a global reference to this continent. This was finally the case in 1995 with Ousmane Sow, from Senegal, and Jane Alexander, from South Africa. Following this the first pavilions came into existence, such as the generic one for a whole continent, Africa, for a single edition, and later those of Angola, South Africa, Côte d’Ivoire, Haiti...


For the 2019 edition, Revue Noire is involved in the production of the first Madagascar Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia under the aegis of the Ministry of Culture of Madagascar and the Malagasy association Kantoko.

The choice of the artist, Joël Andrianomearisoa, is an essential element in the Revue Noire’s commitment to sharing its role as producer, and, in doing so, to devote energy and resources to what few states in Africa can do today with their effort focused on other emergencies. A choice of focus that is hard to fault, although…


Although showing that a country knows how to give birth to great talents and give them the means to reach prominence changes the image of the country and probably its people’s self-confidence, whatever the field. And while creative and cultural actions may seem trivial, it is important to participate brilliantly in what everyone wants to affirm and share as identity and perception in these exceptional moments of global communication.


In line with the ambition of its origins, Revue Noire is proud and happy to participate in the development of Joël Andrianomearisoa’s work in the first Madagascar Pavilion of La Biennale di Venezia in 2019.


Jean Loup Pivin and Pascal Martin Saint Léon are the Founders