Combining her two major interests, art and science, Cardoso began inquiring into the hardly explored field of insects’ reproductive organs and their complexity. The research process behind her renowned project “The Cardoso Flea Circus”, and a description of flea’s genitalia in a text written by scientist Brendan Lehane, marked the departure point for a project that concluded with Cardoso’s PhD at Sydney College of the Arts and the creation of MoCO (Museum of Copulatory Organs) presented at the Sidney Biennial in 2012. In Intromittent Organs, Cardoso creates a series of works based on the meticulous observation of insect’s reproductive organs, that invite the viewer to appreciate the beauty of forms that would otherwise go unnoticed, as well as their connection to sexual selection and evolution. Through different supports including images captured with an electron microscope, digital drawings and models printed in 3-D –all of which were produced by Cardoso and her team— the exhibition also seeks to shift the focus from the kind of anthropocentrism that introduces taboos and inaccurate notions into the animal world.
This project, the end result of rigorous scientific research done over a period of five years, involves an innovative technical virtuosity that pushes the limits of the latest digital technologies in 3-D and microscopy, hence its successful reception by art critics, scientists and the public.
María Fernanda Cardoso (Bogotá, 1963) holds a master’s degree in sculpture from Yale University, as well as a PhD from the University of Sidney. Her most recent exhibitions include: Aliento. Arte de Colombia, Kunstmuseum Bochum, Bochum, Germany, (2013); Sex Everywhere, MCA ARTBAR, Sydney, Australia, (2013); Naked Flora, William Wright // Artists Gallery, Sydney, Australia, (2013); Cantos Cuentos Colombianos, Casa Daros, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, (2013); MoCO: Museum of Copulatory Organs, 18th Sydney Biennale (2012); and Redlands Art Prize, National Art School Gallery, Sydney, Australia (2012). Her work can be found in major international collections including, Tate London, Miami Art Museum, Museo de Arte del Banco de la Repúplica, Daros Latinoamerica, Blanton Museum, among many others.