Memory

Text for Alternative Paradise, 21st Century Museum, Kanazawa

Much of Cardelús’s work is concerned with “memory”. She takes photographs from her large collection of family albums and cuts them up to create compelling new images. The work is bold in conception and meticulous in execution. Sometimes whith the aid of a template, at other times led by intuition and cutting freehand, she transforms photographic paper into something magically different. Through the objective act of “cutting” the intimate family snapshots she confronts and revisits, she releases memories trapped in the past and gives them new shape.

The present exhibition takes the form of an installation entitled View from My Mother’s House. It incorporates a large-scale relief work in which a flock of geese fly across three of the walls of the exhibition space. The geese have been carefully cut out from enlarged prints made from sections of the photograph – a landscape view taken in the area where the artist’s mother lives – used in The Creek. Hanging in the middle room is Almost White Willow. Measuring almost three meters in diameter, it consists of large sheets of undeveloped white photographic paper that Cardelús has cut repeatedly to create an image of a willow tree. This is reflected, as if on water, in an acrylic panel fixed to a nearby wall. On the opposite side of the room two further works are hung. One is Zoo When it Rains, an image of her son made up of a cut photograph and narrow strips of whiteadhesive tape. The other is Zoo Scattering, which shows her son floating upwards as if reflected against a background of bubbles, each consisting of a finely cut array of radiating lines. Sarah Pushes out the Placenta uses a photograph taken when her sister was giving birth. The dramatic coloring and its shades of red together with the horizontally elongated format imbue the scene of the arrival of a new member of the family bloodline with a powerful sense of sanctity. The “life” and “heat”emanating from this almost religious image fill the exhibition space, tingeing red some of the branches of the willow tree hanging in the center of the gallery. Viewers entering the exhibition space find themselves wandering through a forest of interlinked images born out of photographic paper.

Cardelús speaks of universal themes such as “family”, “bloodline” and “relatedness” with a highly personal language that makes use of intimate landscapes and family snapshots. She is the keeper and interpreter of her family’s memories, which she presents to her viewers through the exercising of supreme technical skills, highly developed perceptions and a profound sensibility.

Pubblicato in: Alaternative Paradise , catalogo / catalogue 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa, Japan 2006