with Mathieu Pernot
The installation Paris confiné II, consisting of a postcard stand filled with sixty postcards, revolves around a conflict of reality. On these postcards are photographs that Malagrida and Mathieu Pernot took of the historic but deserted center of Paris when curfew and travel ban determined the metropolis’ appearance from March to May 2020.
While the city’s tourist attractions appear printed on the front, the back bears handwritten words by Malagrida and Pernot that emerged as neologisms during the pandemic, spreading a kind of sentiment of an alarmed public. Malagrida and Pernot then sent them to each other (at their shared Paris address). In a witty and humorous way, the traditional function of the cards is thus counteracted, namely to convey an archetypal impression of a holiday from afar.
In the contrast between illustration and text, show and reverse side, the feigned reality of ideal tourist images is confronted with the everyday, sometimes unpleasant reality of Paris as a place of “longing”. In the contrasting views, partly irreconcilable realities exist side by side – or even points of view.
Anna Malagrida (*1970 in Barcelona, lives and works in Paris), who has been working as an artist since the late 1990s, first studied communication at the Universidad Autónoma de Barcelona (graduated in 1993) and then she obtained a diploma at the École Nationale Supérieure de Photographie in Arles (1996). She is the winner of the Prix au Projet des Rencontres internationales de la Photographie (2005), had a scholarship from the Fundación Arte y Derecho (2006) and in 2016 she has been honored with the Carte Blanche PMU prize, which was tied to an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. Since 2020, she is part of a program of the French Centre national des arts plastiques and the Jeu de Paume in which new photographs are commissioned (Commande Image 3.0).
Malagrida’s works (videos and especially photographs) are characterized by her great interest in social and political contexts. She combines formal quality, media-conceptual considerations, and art-historical references (the flatness of the photographic image, the relationship between painting and photography, the view through the window that has become topical since Leon Battista Alberti, the chiaro-scuro lighting conditions since Caravaggio) with a great empathy for humans. Thus, Malagrida’s photographs deal with questions of cultural identity, the boundaries between the private and the public, and the relationships of authority and power in our contemporary societies. While her works are often prompted by current events, they in fact discuss issues that go beyond the current day.