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Indepth Arts News:

"ZOOMORPHIA: Sculpture, Installations and Video Works from Maria Fernanda Cardoso"
2003-04-09 until 2003-07-06
Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney
Sydney, , AU Australia

ZOOMORPHIA, an exhibition of sculpture, installations and video works from the international career of Columbian-born, Sydney-based artist Maria Fernanda Cardoso, opens at the MCA on Wednesday 9 April (until Sunday 6 July). Cardoso is probably best known in this country for her flea circus performances, presented live at the Sydney Opera House during the 2000 Sydney Festival. This exhibition brings together a number of significant works from more than a decade of exhibiting internationally.

Characterised by the use of unconventional materials, Cardoso's work reveals her longstanding fascination with the natural world and the complexity of our relationship to it. Some of the works use the preserved bodies of frogs and lizards and dead butterflies, which are farmed for scientific and educational purposes. Others draw on dried sea creatures produced by the tourist industry as souvenirs of the seaside holiday, or in the case of the sea horses, are bred and used in Chinese medicine. These raw materials, with their potent symbolism, create works of great beauty, which recall the patterns that exist in the natural world as well as minimalist sculpture.

Cardoso's earlier works often integrated references to mythical symbols in pre-Columbian culture while more recently she has turned her attention on a quintessentially Australian animal, the sheep, with a work utilising dyed fleeces shorn into geometrical patterns referencing the economic and cultural significance of wool and the role it has played in the development of the agricultural landscape of her new home in Australia.

To learn more about Cardoso's practice and her interest in biodiversity and the natural world don't miss the artist in conversation event, to be led by exhibition curator and MCA Director, Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, on Monday 14 April at 6.30pm. Bookings are essential for this free event. Please email education@mca.com.au - MCA Education or telephone the MCA on 02 9252 4033 during business hours. If you can't make this special event you can join one of the many free guided tours of the exhibition. Guided tours are held daily at 11am and 2pm Monday to Friday and 12noon and 1.30pm on weekends.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso
Video still from Chicken Face, Fish Face, Bat Face /
Cara de Gallina, Cara de Pescado, Cara de Murcielago 2003
Incollaboration with Ross Harley

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