APRIL 28 - FEBRUARY 29 2024

Fondation H is dedicating its inaugural exhibition to Zoarinivo Razakaratrimo, known as Madame Zo (1956 - 2020), an icon of the Malagasy art scene. Madame Zo dedicated her life to the art of weaving, an ancestral tradition still alive in Madagascar, where lamba, a wild silk or cotton fabric, accompanies every moment of life, from birth to death.

The artist drew the essence of her work, first through design and fashion objects and then transcended the rules of this strongly codified art. By making her technique extremely complex and freeing herself from the limitations of material or format, she developed her own artistic language.

Madame Zo’s weavings have unusual shapes and sizes thanks to the looms she made herself. They integrate several hundred materials such as newsprint, magnetic tapes, electronic components, copper, bones, medicinal plants, industrial foam, rubber, wood chips or perishable foods... They form an important corpus of abstract works whose meshes enclose significant details and language games that seem like an enigma to be deciphered, revealing a vision of Malagasy society and a poetic and engaging reading of the world.

Against a backdrop of forest, mountain, karst and linear landscapes,visitors are immersed into a composition that plays with superimpositions and formal, colorful associations, placing human beings at the beginning of allthings, in both their exterior manifestations and their inner, spiritual reflections. In the case of Madame Zo, they can be guessed from her autobiographical works which are evocative of personal and family moments, ofher status as an artist and of her personal health.

Her works provide passageways and transitory spaces between here and elsewhere, between one state and another. They nurture relationships but also set boundaries. They are at once the point of departure and of arrival. They convey a metamorphosis and the aina: the breath of life that is present in the silkworm in the Malagasy tradition. It is therefore a question of accepting what exceeds our comprehension, i.e. the black hole, as an area of narrative possibilities. Thus, the monochromatic lights projected by magnetic tapes from hundreds of unwound audio cassettes expel words, songs, sounds and music that are suspended in a parallel space-time. They are also found in the series of works known as Cinétiss. Made from cut-up film, these weavings evoke the material and immaterial dimensions of the image, which can be glimpsed through transparency. The plot unfolding in new ways as a succession of small vignettes are replayed in a final editing gesture.

Falling midway between literality and orality, Madame Zo’s works are rooted in oraliture. The fundamental relationship with language is reflected in the use of printed newspaper, an everyday material that conveys information, here wrung out and encased in armor, from which escape a few snatches of rearranged sentences, carefully selected and subtly eye-opening. Is it critique? Perhaps. Silence emanates from a long, dense, compact curtain of magnetic tape. Tais-toi et dors (Shut up and goto sleep) shouts a small work that contains radio and computer components.

The exhibition Bientôt je vous tisse tous [Soon I’ll weave you all] brings Madame Zo’s spirit to life. It makes her quest foremancipation palpable and holds the promise of infinite experimentation.

For its inaugural exhibition, Bientôt je vous tisse tous [Soon I will weave you all], Fondation H invited exhibition curators Bérénice Saliou (Director, Documents d’Artistes, Reunion Island) and Prof. Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung (Founder, SAVVY Contemporary, Berlin, and Director, Haus der Kulturender Welt, Berlin) to delve into the work of Zoarinivo Razakaratrimo, known as Madame Zo, icon of the malagasy art scene (1956-2020).


Fondation H's international guests share their thoughts on Fondation H's inaugural exhibition, by virtuoso artist and weaver, Razakaratrimo Zoarinivo, known as Madame Zo. ‍

Click here to discover the highlights from the exhibition Bientôt je vous tisse tous [Soon I’ll weave you all]


A scientific committee was set up by Fondation H as part ofthe inaugural exhibition to accompany the curators in their research on Madame Zo’s works. These personalities were chosen for their expertise in the malagasy art scene and local context, as well as for their long, even decades-long, friendly and professional ties to Madame Zo.

The Scientific Committee of the exhibition Bientôt je vous tisse tous [Soon I will weave you all] is composed of:
• Hemerson Andrianetrazafy, Visual artist, Art historian, Fellow of the Académie Malgache, section Arts et Lettres;
• Sarah Fee, PhD, Senior curator, World Cultures, Textiles and Costumes at the Royal Ontario Museum, Research Professor of history and textile traditions of Madagascar;
• Bako Nirina Rasoarifetra, Lecturer, Research Professor of Archaeology, Museology and Heritage, Institut de Civilisations, Musée d’Art et d’Archéologie, University of Antananarivo, Fellow of the Académie Malgache;
• Misa Ratrimoharinino, Weaver, Son and Estate owner of Madame Zo.



Bérénice Saliou is an exhibition curator and AICA member. From 2022, she is director of the organisation Documents d’Artistes La Réunion in order to help promote artists from overseas and more broadly from the Indian Ocean. From 2015 to 2022, she acted as Artistic Director of the Institute of Islamic Cultures (ICI), a cultural establishment in Paris, France. By curating exhibitions, producing works of art and projects - including in public spaces -and organising multidisciplinary events, she helps to make non-Western artistic scenes more visible in Europe, where they tend to be underrepresented. In 2010,along with artist Younès Rahmoun, she co-founded the artist residency Trankat in the medina of Tetouan (Morocco). She was head of the project until 2015. Shehas a Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Provence, a Masters in Cultural Professions from the University of Lille 3, and an MFA Curating from Goldsmiths College in London. During her career, she has notably supported the creation of artworks by Bertille Bak, Sabrina Belouaar, Tarek Benaoum, Yane Cavlovski,Jordi Colomer, gethan&myles, Chourouk Hriech, Mehdi-Georges Lahlou, Katia Kameli, Smail Kanouté, Hervé Yamguen and Hervé Youmbi, Salifou Lindou, Maryanto, Randa Maroufi, Ruangrupa, Josefa Ntjam, Sara Ouhaddou, Moussa Sarr, Laetitia Tura, Hossein Valamanesh.


Pr. Dr. Bonaventure Soh Bejeng Ndikung is a curator, author and biotechnologist. He is founder of SAVVY Contemporary in Berlin and is the artistic director of Sonsbeek20–24, a quadrennial contemporary art exhibition in Arnhem, the Netherlands. He is artistic director of the 13th Bamako Encounters 2022, a biennale for African photography in Mali. From January 2023he took on the role of Director at Haus der Kulturen der Welt (HKW) in Berlin. Ndikung was the curator-at-large for Adam Szymczyk’s Documenta 14 in Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany, in 2017; a guest curator of the Dak’Art biennale in Dakar, Senegal, in 2018; as well as artistic director of the 12th Bamako Encounters in 2019. Together with the Miracle Workers Collective, he curated the Finland Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2019. He was a recipient of the first OCAD University International Curators Residency fellowship in Toronto in 2020 and is currently a professor in the Spatial Strategies MA program at the Weissensee Academy of Art in Berlin.




Razakaratrimo Zoarinivo, known by her artist name Madame Zo, was born on May 4, 1956 in Antananarivo, Madagascar. Her artistic career is marked by a series of significant events that have contributed to her fame and legacy in the art world.

In 1985, she starts a training at the Centre National de l’Artisanat Malagasy (CENAM), specializing in weaving and dyeing. In 1990,she founds her first company, Les Tisserandes, to showcase her talent for weaving and handcraft creation.

In 1996, she joins project ADEVA (Action pour le DEVeloppement de l’Artisanat), which is funded by the European Union andaims at highlighting the skills of Madagascar’s craftspeople.

In 1999, Madame Zo displays her works at the Zotra itinerary show in collaboration with Vaika (Vondrona Andrafetana sy Ivoizanany Kolotsain’ny Ampitso or the Circle of Contemporary Artists). The following year, in 2000, she founds the Zo Artiss label and teams upwith her son Misa Ratrimoharinivo to create handcrafted and art pieces.  

The year 2000 also marks her introduction to the international stage via the Salon international du Design et de la Créativité textile organized as part of the 3rd edition of the Dakar Biennale, Dak’art, Senegal.

In 2001, she leads a weaving workshop in the Central African Republic and shares her expertise with other weavers.

In the years that follow, Madame Zo continues tomark her presence on the international art scene through her participation inthe Biennale Internationale du Design de Saint-Étienne in 2002 and the exhibition of her works at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington.

In 2003, she multiplies her design collaborations and stages her first solo exhibition named Le traditionnel au XXIè siècle at the Albert Camus cultural center.

In 2005, she is asked by UNIDO to take part inthe MadaSilk Design project, which aims at promoting Madagascar’s silk at the international level.

In 2006, she organizes her second solo exhibition, La saison des cultures, showcasing her artistic work.  

In 2007, she takes part in the group exhibition 30 et Presque-songes, initiated by artist Joël Andrianomearisoa in Antananarivo, Madagascar, which showcases the works of thirty Malagasy and international artists in various fields of art.

In 2010, she gets involved in the Naturellement Urbain / NU project, which is designed to promote Madagascar’s fashion design industry.

In 2011, she takes part in the TransPorter Lambahoany en mouvement project.

In 2012, she represents Madagascar at the Ethical Fashion Show organized at the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris as a side-event to the Fashion Week in Paris, France. In the same year, she is invited by the Conseil départemental de La Réunion to sit in the jury for Prix Célimène of Reunion Island.

In 2013, she holds an immersive exhibition featuring a labyrinth of weavings named Matières choisies at the Institut Français de Madagascar.

Her encounter with Eric Déreumaux in 2015 opens up new opportunities for her work, including her nomination in 2017 as vice-winner of the first edition of Prix Paritana.

In 2018, Madame Zo takes part in the prestigious exhibition Madagascar, Arts de la Grande Île at the Musée du quai Branly-Jacques Chirac, which marks the importance of her artistic contribution. That same year, she participates in the exhibition Ici la limite du royaume est la mer organized at the Institut français de Madagascar, which puts to the fore her role in the development of contemporary art in Madagascar.

In 2019, Fondation H inaugurates its new building in Antananarivo with a solo exhibition of Madame Zo’s works, L’art au quotidien. She showcases ten large-format pieces and a suspended sculptural piece to support the idea that artis present in everyday life.  

In the same year, she takes part in the group exhibition Jeux d’artifices at the Institut français de Madagascar, where she showcases a tapestry of the same aesthetic order. The exhibition is organized by the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain de La Réunion, with support from Axian Group and Fondation H.

Madame Zo sadly passed away on July 13, 2020,just as she was about to leave for a residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, following her nomination as the winner of the Prix d’Art Contemporain Paritana. Her death marks the end of an exceptional artistic career.  She leaves behind a lasting legacy in the world of contemporary art.

Click here to view Madame Zo's full CV

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