Tending to Black

Exhibition, 2014

Tending to Black

Tending to Black_2014, general view

Tending to Black

Tending to Black_2014, general view

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers), 2014, 68.5 x 289 cm, ceramics and cut-out photographs manipulated

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014, 68.5x289 cm, ceramics and cut-out photographs manipulated

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014, detail

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014, detail

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014, detail

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014, detail

tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)

Tending to beginnings and ends (five mothers)_2014, detail

tending to unspoken connections, 2014, 61x61 cm, 4 layers of cut-out photographs

Tending to unspoken connections_2014, 61x61cm, 4 layers of cut-out photographs

tending to unspoken connections, 2014, 61x61 cm, 4 layers of cut-out photographs

Tending to unspoken connections_2014, 61x61cm, 4 layers of cut-out photographs

tending to the moon, 2014, 102 x 102 cm, cropped photo

Tending to the moon_2014,102x102 cm, cropped photo

tending to the moon, 2014, 102 x 102 cm, cropped photo

Tending to the moon (detail)_2014, 102x102 cm, cut out black photograph

tending to the holes and windows of the brain, 2014, 3 layers of cut-out photographs, l 101.5 x 51.7 cm c/u (101.5 x 103.5 cm)

Tending to the holes and windows of the brain_2014, 101.5x103.5 cm, 3 layers of cut-out photographs

tending to the holes and windows of the brain, 2014, 101.5 x 103.5 cm, 3 layers of cut-out photographs

Tending to the holes and windows of the brain_2014, 101.5x103.5 cm, 3 layers of cut-out photographs

tending to black, 2014,153 x 181 cm, black manipulated photographs

Tending to black_2014, 153x181cm, black manipulated photographs

tending to black, 2014,153 x 181 cm, black manipulated photographs

Tending to black (detail)_2014, 153x181 cm, black manipulated photographs

tending to black, 2014,153 x 181 cm, black manipulated photographs

Tending to black (detail)_2014, 153x181 cm, black manipulated photographs

tending to the difference between real and imagined, 2014, 65 x 49 x 33 cm, ceramic

Tending to the difference between real and imagined_2014, 65x49x33 cm, ceramic

tending to the difference between real and imagined, 2014, 65 x 49 x 33 cm, ceramic

Tending to the difference between real and imagined (detail)_2014, 65x49x33 cm, ceramic

tending to a feeling of detachment, 2014, 30 x 40 x 56.5 cm, unfired clay and wood

Tending to a feeling of detachment (detail)_2014, 30x40x56.5 cm, unfired clay and wood

tending to a feeling of detachment, 2014, 30 x 40 x 56.5 cm, unfired clay and wood

Tending to a feeling of detachment_2014, 30x40x56.5 cm, unfired clay and wood

tending to a feeling of detachment, 2014, 30 x 40 x 56.5 cm, unfired clay and wood

Tending to a feeling of detachment_2014, 30x40x56.5 cm, unfired clay and wood

Tending to Black

Tending to Black_2014, general view

tending to a first twenty seconds, general view

Tending to a first twenty seconds_2014, 34x960 cm, general view

tending to a first twenty seconds, 2014, 34x48 cm c/u, cellulose twenty drawing each

Tending to a first twenty seconds_2014, 34x48 cm each, ink on cellulose

silent choir, 32 x 22 x 12 cm; 32 x 22 x 12 cm; 31 x 21 x 17 cm; 30 x 21 x 11 cm; 32 x 22 x 11 cm, ceramic

Tending to a silent_2014, 32x22x12 cm; 32x22x12 cm; 31x21x17 cm; 30x21x11 cm; 32x22x11 cm, ceramic

heat, 2011, 70 x 50 cm, 3 layers of cut-out photographs

Heat_2011, 70x50 cm, 3 layers of cut-out photographs

Black photographs and ceramics are the center of Maggie Cardelus’s atention for this new body of work, “Tending to Black”, for Galeria F2.

A black photograph can be seen as an overlay of all images, or as no images at all. It is charged with possibilities and with nothingness. All that can and can’t be photographed is latent in its blackness. Cardelus works with the photo paper emulsion and her x-acto knife to make forms emerge and recede, suggesting the edges of consciousness, of memory, of parallel realities, of carbon, water, life itself and its cycles. Geometries coexist with fluids, flat, industrial surfaces with hand-wrought irregularity, macrocosms with micro- cosmos, and a shadow of the past is cast onto the present order of things.

At the same time, Cardelus has continued her work with ceramics and drawing. Her new ceramics take their cues from the black photographs, but take the ideas to a more human dimension and to the very beginnings of civilization. Induced to absorb carbon during the firing process, the pieces evoke their intimacy with fire, smoke, and metamorphosis. The drawings, too, are carbon-based fluids that adhere to and deform cellulose paper to create cave-wall surfaces, tempestuous dark seas, and lightless, looming landscapes. Life emerged, and emerges still, from heat, chemical reactions, and time.

Cardelus describes this new body of work as a meditation on beginnings and on blackness: blackness as nothing and blackness as everything. It is a direct response to three years of her helping to curate and install a selection of her work for two museum retrospectives. Because of the strong autobiographical center of her work, and the intimate way it connects to her growing and changing family, she describes this process of looking back over the work she had done since 1997 as a reliving of her family’s transformation. She explains that when she began to think about making new work for this upcoming exhibition at F2, she felt the need to go back to the beginnings of everything, “if such a thing is possible, of course. I started by closing my eyes.”