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

Maggie Cardelus

I am an American/Spanish artist based in Paris, France.

Making art and making a family merged in my work a long time ago when I realized that neither would thrive if both did not thrive. The making of art and the making of a family are different only insofar as the making of art intentionally inscribes and describes a space of meaning and communication in order to produce an artistic experience or visual trace of its happening. By handling domestic activities and responsibilities with an artistic intentionality they are enriched and transformed. The boundaries between what is everydayness and what is art are permanently blurred in a process that allows life to yield to what experiences it will offer, and, at the same time, allows art-making to work its vitality into our lives. My body of work shows 17 years of work transforming and being transformed by family culture. I have elaborated our cultural compulsion to memory-keep in my exploration of the family album. I have coaxed my album of banal family snapshots along a path not unlike that of a runaway selection, gradually turning it into a creature of extraordinary proportions and unusual morphology. Working on the album has allowed me to examine and theorize the unwieldy power of the photographic image and its complex relationship to just about everything. Drawing out a photograph's materiality and hybrid potential, I exploit its unlimited possibilities (so far, I have been unable to locate any limits), as it spills over into drawing, sculpture and video. I have also, over the last years, begun to work with other materials like clay, bread and household paint/enamel, approaching them as photographs, thinking of them in terms of imprint, instantaneity, and reproduction. Much of my work is portraiture. Perhaps this is because working on others is a devotional act, a way to communicate with others through art. Working on others has naturally led to working with others, and my children are now participating more actively as performers in my work, leading to a different form of visual dialogue. The performance D/innertime (2012) was the first time all three of my children performed together. A short video that documents this piece can be viewed on my website.

View Maggie Cardelus's CV (PDF)

LauraD/Innertime (detail)Installation view of three piecesLaura almost 12Looking for Time (Loft)A Fathersourdough starter

Paris, Ile de France


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