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Doing Life: By Way of Organised Emptiness and By Way of Controlling Uncontrollable Forces(2012)

For the two large window sculptures at Kaufmann Repetto Gallery, Cardelús draws connections between ancient textile and modern forms of image making and image-making techniques to create poetic, personal manifestations of cultural continuity.
By Way of Organised Emptiness, Cardelús makes a large, highly abstracted and minimal steel piece of "hardware" (a typewriter? a computer?) to house a "software" consisting of a digitally printed roll of chiffon that hangs horizontally and unrolls vertically over a high shelf and back down to the floor. The print design for the fabric was based on a typeface the artist designed that spells out the name MAGGIE and is repeated, mirrored, rotated, and flipped to create a dense, patterned, often illegible design reminiscent of woven textiles as well as 19th century Jacquard Loom punch cards, the precursors to computer punch cards.
By Way of Controlling the Uncontrollable Forces, Cardelús makes a large, steel, film apparatus consisting of a roll of printed silk that unspools and weaves its way over and under a structure of horizontal bars that brings to mind weaving looms as well as the winding of film through a camera or projector. For the print design, Cardelús uses failed analogue camera prints - collected over twenty years - and arranges them in a semi-orderly geometry across the surface that might refer to a loose flower pattern or crazy quilt. Examining the design carefully, you can detect the details that betray the photographs were taken with an analogue camera - bright edges where the film wasn't rolled properly in the camera, overexposures, veered lighting, bad focus.
Both pieces and prints teeter on the brink of incomprehension, seemingly on the verge of dissolving into abstraction and oblivion. There is also a feeling of fluidity between ages and cultural forms that is still in flux, still always changing.
Two of the artist's photographic self-portraits in the same exhibition further complicate these ideas. One of her self-portraits is cut out using the same MAGGIE design, while for the other, she dissolved the emulsion of the surface using household products and her head and body seem to have liquified into deep, cosmological space.