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Zoo, age 5 (2002)

Like a film frame halting momentarily to expose the photo-based illusion of film, Cardelus' son's body in Zoo, age 5 appears to stop within an apparent flow of time. His reclining body poses languidly like the lower half of the single, 10m printed photograph that builds in soft folds on the floor. She recalls the moment when her son was running around the house after a bath and she asked him to stop for a photo. He threw himself onto the rug and assumed a pose that seemed fully aware and knowing of his own beauty and his mother's ecstatic gaze.
Cardelús wished to celebrate exactly that instant of ecstatic stillness opening up a beautiful and complicit connection during the chaos of pre-bedtime preparations. There is no ecstasy, says Cardelus, like that of a mother's appreciation of the beauty of her child. That gaze is inevitably accompanied by the agony of its fleeting nature, which she alludes to with the photograph stretching into the past and into the future, towards the unknown.