RAMILY ILAY NANAO NY MARAINA (Ramily: The one who will reveal the day)
HAKANTO CONTEMPORARY, MADAGASCAR
Solo presentation of Madagascar’s ‘Father of Black and White photography’
28 April – 30 July 2022
HAKANTO CONTEMPORARY, Antananarivo, Madagascar, is pleased to present
RAMILY ILAY NANAO NY MARAINA (Ramily: The one who will reveal the day), a survey of works by Madagascar’s ‘Father of Black and White photography,’ Emile Rakotondrazaka (1939-2017). Running from 28 April to July 30, 2022, original film works printed on barium paper are displayed throughout the gallery space, exploring the diverse interests and influences of Ramily’s life.
Marking the first retrospective of the photographer’s work, the exhibition overviews his authority as a professor, photographer, traveler, and social commentator. Born in Antananarivo in 1939, Ramily – also affectionately known as ‘Dadamily’ – was a catalyst for cultural expression during the first decades of Malagasy independence. Across famous faces, bustling crowds, and silent rural landscapes, Ramily’s extensive collection of historical black and white photos made him a national icon, with his profile peaking from the 1970s until the 1990s. Bringing the works to life, each photograph at HAKANTO is presented in conversation with newly commissioned explanatory texts from Malagasy artist and sociologist Ludonie Velontrasina (b.1985).
Born one of 12 children to a modest family, from an early age, Ramily worked as an assistant to a traveling photographer Rasolonjatovo, making identity photos for rural communities across Madagascar. In 1957, he was hired as a labour assistant for PHOTOFLEX studio on Independence Avenue in Analakely, a neighbourhood in Antananarivo, the country’s capital. In 1965 he left to further develop his practice, working with a topographical design office called B.E.T.T. (Bureau d’Etude de Travaux Topographiques) in Nanisana, Antananarivo. He subsequently established TECHNI-PHOTO, his own photo lab and studio in Itaosy, just south of the capital. As part of the exhibition, HAKANTO will present an immersive recreation of this studio, memorializing a space that became an essential school for black and white photography enthusiasts in the country. The studio has inspired numerous photographers, including the celebrated Pierrot Men (b.1954), and remains functional today.
Ramily died on March 26, 2017, in Antananarivo, leaving behind documentation of hundreds of poetic landscapes, artistically worked prints, black and white wedding shots, and solemn events; most of all, he left a photographic legacy that would inspire future generations of Malagasy creatives. Existing between retrospective and homage, RAMILY ILAY NANAO NY MARAINA (Ramily: The one who will reveal the day) rediscovers and reaffirms his contribution to the Malagasy photographic and artistic milieu.
“Ramily, the one who revealed the day
Between his black and at the rhythm of his white
He reveals to us our history through his images
But above all our emotions, may they sometimes be uncertain”.
– Joël Andrianomearisoa
Title: RAMILY ILAY NANAO NY MARAINA (Ramily: The one who will reveal the day)
Address: HAKANTO CONTEMPORARY, Galerie Alhambra Ankadimbahoaka, 101, Madagascar
Dates: 28 April – July 30, 2022
Telephone: +261 20 22 222 31