Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art: Feminist Art Base: Maggie Cardelus

Maggie Cardelus

I am American/Spanish based in Milano, Italy, where I live with my husband and three children.
Artisthood and home-making merged in my work a long time ago as a way to keep both worlds thriving. I make art and at the same time I draw out family problems and recognize tensions that would otherwise go unnoticed, create dialogue, analyse and resolve relational conflict, ease pain, recognize change, celebrate life, and prepare for death. Art-making for me inscribes and describes a space of communication within everydayness where transgression is allowed, rules are broken, and new forms of social exchange are invented. I have concentrated mostly on the family album, elaborating our cultural compulsion to memory-keep. I have coaxed my "album" of banal family snapshots along a path not unlike that of runaway selection, gradually turning it into a creature of extraordinary proportions and unusual morphology. (please see my website) I usually start working on a specific snapshot because it helps me unravel a certain emotional problem or question, but it has also allow me to closely examine and theorize the unwieldy power of the photographic image and its complex relationship to pretty much everything. Drawing out a photograph's materiality and hybrid potential I exploit its seemingly unlimited possibilities as it spills over into drawing, sculpture, and video. My three children are of course very present in my work. My oldest son Zoo, now 15, has, at least for now, assumed a more active role. For a recent show I invited him to draw what he wanted on the wall across from a large portrait I had made of the two of us. I gave him the freedom to map out his own, very different visual world within mine, directly enacting the kind of relational "problem-solving" that roots my practice. I gave the change in our relationship a symbolic weight typical of tribal manhood rituals. My love of breadmaking gave rise to my recent body of work using sourdough, clay, house-paint, and other materials. This new work searches out continuities between world-making at home and the making of life, earth, space. The work explores how in its everyday manifestations and activities the domestic sphere will reveal its potent sympathy with the universe.

View Maggie Cardelus's CV (PDF)

morningthree piecesLaura in the mirrorLaura almost 12a mothersourdough starterLaura

Milano, Mi


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