Camilo Cardenas nourishes a fantasy world filled by creatures - angels, guardians, elephants - but it is not an afterlife or a heaven, it is not an unattainable world, quite the contrary : it is our everyday world.
For Camilo Cardenas directly transforms the world around him, and that is around us. As the Michel de Certeau poacher, it is with full knowledge of ingenuity and subtlety that he recovers materials and transforms it. "Perceive and protect" is written on one of his "angeles" : “to perceive” is also “to understand”. Stay curious and like animals, stay alert.
As an animal is the elephant who seems to have his preference. The huge elephant on her tiny balloon in equilibrium, quite burlesque, or an elephant puny surprised to find there in front of us and questioning us with eyes. Far from vanity demonstration, we are also the elephant goodwill fell there by accident, and wondered what happened to us. A little playful this animal, as Camilo himself, and mischievous, who loves to laugh and loves to play. Funny life, comic life.
It is on this way of collusion, sympathy, a greater affinity that creates the relation to things and us. And this wonderful affinity is only material. Because the material is part of this contact and this proximity : the warmth of copper, the warmth, comforting copper. Then the meeting of copper and bronze and glass and wire, and other things... Couples take shape of a shoe, the angels and the octopus of a cartridge, usually all waste unrecognizable. And for these wastes, that lazy people abandoned and left to rot, Camilo Cardenas has some sympathy : a true love for the matter emanates from these sculptures, with a warm aura that makes the charm and success of his know-how (savoir-faire).
Born in 1986 in the United States, but have lived up until 14 years in Colombia, he kept from the South American a sunny and joyfully energy. Unbridled imagination, a sense of figuration that does not look forced, and allows an appropriation of these objects, as Camilo had appropriated objects that have served as matrix. A careful and regardful extravagance for the others, which is rare when extravagance has a bad tendency to reveal a repulsive selfishness. Abundance, skill, generosity, there is something baroque in these creations and we like it as much as they have nothing forced, easy or wanted : the seduction and charm are evidents. The expression of these fellows leaves no doubts.
This is the love of tiny, the love of details - a shift of the wrist, a set of open bite -, the love of these specific and little worlds, with something like the japanese "kawaii", who are all shelters, corners where isolate, but also marks a wider network that transforms our everyday world, which become a plot of meetings : these are the great joys of daily creation, the immense joys of daily tiny. And our warm intimacy.
1. L'invention du quotidien, 1, Arts de faire, folio essais, p.XXXVI « le quotidien s'invente avec mille manières de braconner. »
Camilo Cardenas website
Rodolphe Gauthier - 2013/2