MARIA FERNANDA CARDOSO
“The world has worlds within worlds, both smaller and bigger.”
As a child, María Fernanda Cardoso took long nature walks with her father. Carrying a magnifying glass, Cardoso would look closely at plants and insects, studying their intricacies. These walks sparked her curiosity about the natural world and trained her powers of observation. Throughout her career, she has continued to explore nature and its links to culture and science. Curator Carolina Ponce de León writes, “Cardoso’s installations, sculptures and videos seek to unravel the parodies, paradoxes and complexities that appear in the joints where cultural systems overlap.”
In the early 1980s, Cardoso studied architecture and the visual arts at the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá, Colombia. In 1987, she moved to New York to attend the Graduate Sculpture Program at Pratt Institute, and in 1990, she completed her MFA in Sculpture at Yale University. Her early projects make use of preserved animals such as lizards, starfish, earthworms, frogs, and snakes arranged in intricate, abstract compositions reminiscent of pre-Colombian forms. Other installations include flowers and stones turned into vertical gardens and funerary wreaths.
The Cardoso Flea Circus (1994-2000) was a six-year series of performances and installations in which Cardoso trained fleas to perform tasks and surprising feats of strength. She performed the Cardoso Flea Circus internationally, at venues including the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Sydney Opera House, Centre Georges Pompidou, Arts Festival Atlanta, The Fabric Workshop and Museum, and the San Francisco Exploratorium. In 2003, she represented Colombia for the Venice Biennale. Cardoso moved to Sydney, Australia in 1997, and she currently lives and works there. In 2012, she received her PhD from Sydney College for the Arts.
Maria Fernanda Cardoso’s works are represented in several major collections including The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia; Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia; Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, Florida, USA; Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, New York, New York, USA; Daros Latinamerica, Zürich, Switzerland; The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Miami Art Museum, Miami, Florida, USA; Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogotá, Colombia; Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia; Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, California, USA; Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, California, USA; and Tate Modern, London, United Kingdom.
Biblioteca Luis Angel Arango, Bogotá, Colombia
Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO), Miami, FL, USA
Colección de Arte Banco de la Republica, Bogotá, Colombia
Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros, Caracas, Venezuela
Daros Latinamerica, Zürich, Switzerland
Gold Coast Art Gallery, Gold Coast, Australia
Miami Art Museum, Miami, FL, USA
Museo de Arte Contemporáneo, Bogotá, Colombia
Museo de Arte Moderno de Bogotá, Bogotá, Colombia
Museum of Contemporary Art, San Diego, CA, USA
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, Australia
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH), Houston, TX, USA
National Gallery of Australia, Canberra, Australia
National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia
Newcastle Regional Art Gallery, Cooks Hill, Australia
Pérez Art Museum, Miami Beach, FL, USA
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA, USA
Tamworth Regional Art Gallery, Tamworth NSW, Australia
Tate Modern, London, UK
The Arts Centre Gold Coast, Surfers Paradise, Australia
The Fabric Workshop and Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA
The Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art, Austin, TX, USA
The Space Collection, Irvine, CA, USA
Anonymous female artisans from Chile, Tania Bruguera, Cristina Hernández Botero, Margarita Cabrera, Melissa Calderón, Maria Fernanda Cardoso, Melba Carillo, Marta Chilindron, Alessandra Expósito, Iliana Emilia Garcia, Scherezade Garcia, Dulce Gómez, Carmen Herrera, Jessica Kairé, Carmen Lomas Garza, Evelyn López de Guzmán, Anna Maria Maiolino, Glendalys Medina, Ana Mendieta, Marina Núñez del Prado, Liliana Porter, Raquel Rabinovich, Nitza Tufiño
Colombian-born Australian artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso works with vegetal elements. One of her public art installations draws upon 19th-century traditions of scientific observation, whilst also engaging with the conatus and agency of the bottle tree. This paper proposes that Cardoso’s ‘magical’ planting of bottle trees creates a circle of discourse regarding pre-human earth life, whilst gesturing towards speculations on post-human earth life. If we could hear the voices of the bottle trees, would they be a mournful weeping for lost habitats, or instead could they be an incantation for unknown futures? This research draws upon the dual cultures of both the artist and the bottle tree, to present a new way of listening to the earth.
An academic publication by Lara Stephens focusing on deep dramaturgy and the making of the Cardoso Flea Circus and On the Origins of Art projects as subjects of these analyses.
Daily Telegraph, Sydney's Elizabeth Fortescue, Arts Editor, writes Weaving a tiny web of intrigue covering the artist's work with Maratus spiders
What was once a backyard swimming pool is now a murky pond with a budding ecosystem. In a corner of the overgrown garden rests a stone roughly hand-engraved with ‘‘TIME IS’’. The wild cacophony of nature continues inside with native flowers, a pair of preserved emu legs, butterfly wings, piles of rocks, animal skin, feathers and gum nuts scattered across benches, tables and side desks.
Sydney-based artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso will create a major new series of sculptures from a rare significant find of approximately 4,000 cubic-metres of ‘yellow Sydney’ sandstone, harvested and commissioned by TWT Property Group. TWT specialise in establishing quality residential communities with a commitment to art and architecture; they’re also the masterminds behind the TWT Creative Precinct – home to over 70 artists, making it the fastest growing creative precinct in the nation.