From the Greek “palin dromein”, or going in reverse, palindromes are words, numbers or sentences that read the same backward as forward. In other words, that which is in front also lies behind. In RECONOCER, Cárdenas expands her stratigraphic documentation of Bogotá by incorporating sediments of the landscape, materials that have accelerated its transformation, as well as traces of erosion caused by humans. The overarching story of the exhibition is no other than the city, whose social fabric seems to dissolve but also stretch and grow. A residency at the Jan Van Eyck Academie in Maastricht and ongoing conversations with geologists and archeologists, detonate many of the artist’s recent processes.
In all of the pieces that form the exhibition, two different practices merge: the photographic record and a sculptural exercise that seeks to materialize time. According to art critic John Berger, a photograph is a “witness of human choice in practice, but not a choice between photographing a subject X or Y, but rather a moment, X or Y.” In contrast, the artist insists on imposing a broad array of materials —including metals, veils and rubble— onto the photographic record, thus merging both practices in space, while shaping a palindrome-like formal and conceptual expression.
Leyla Cárdenas (Bogotá, 1975) studied Fine Arts at Universidad de Los Andes in Bogotá and completed an MFA at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In 2017 Cárdenas will participate in various exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including: VICE VERSA, Dimensions Variable, Miami, USA, February-March; El Universo Holograma, Museo La Tertulia, Cali, Colombia, March-April; 2nd California Pacific Triennial, Orange County Museum of Art (OCMA), Newport Beach, USA, May-September; Home – So Different, So Appealing, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), Los Angeles, USA, June-October (which will later travel to the Museum of Fine Arts Houston between November and February 2017); Open Art Public Art Biennial l, Örebro, Sweden, June-September; The Materiality of the Invisible, traveling exhibition, The Netherlands, August-September; and Premio OMA al Arte, Feria de Arte de Bogotá (ArtBO), Bogotá, Colombia, October.