Guillermo Cárdenas

My artwork deals with the perception of time and space. I am interested in the way in which lived experiences, many of which are of traumatic origin, affect the way that individuals perceive and interpret their surroundings. I believe that the majority of the stimuli that an artist has in a country such as Colombia are of a traumatic nature, therefore the art that is produced here evinces this origins. Nevertheless, in my work I do not attempt to illustrate trauma, but rather the ways in which such events fragment my perception and my memory.

My most recent pieces are based on a Spanish expression “sacar los trapitos al sol” which would translate into “airing our dirty laundry.” In them I represent a series of fabrics hanging from ropes. These “trapitos al sol” symbolize everything that we consider “dark” or too “colorful” to exhibit in public, but at the same time they are intimate truths that have been exposed. I believe that a close look into the meaning of this expression reveals many truths that are hidden under the surface of contemporary society. These are difficult to digest and in many occasions we, as a society, would rather have them hidden, like our underwear, and not have then exposed to public scrutiny. There are some occasions when the actions of an individual become of public notion, therefore possibly affecting a society or a community, which ends up being involved in a direct or indirect way. For example, tortures, such as the ones in Guantanamo or the ones that the military regimes used during many of the dictatorships in Latin America. Actions that directly affect a society that either because of its indifference or its passiveness could of become an involuntary accomplice to such atrocities.

Whether it’s too pungent or painful it is necessary to air the rags – All of the societies and people need someone to uncover the darkest of our actions to reveal us that side which we find so difficult to see by ourselves. That area that if we ignore will not fade away, quite the opposite, it will grow and control us. It is essential to ventilate the dirty laundry so that the connections, the threads from which they hang and that keeps them together, remain strong.

My work consists of rags that hang from ropes, some of which are used clothes, or fragments of these, or cloths used for household chores. The idea is to evince the wear and tear caused by humans. The rags are arranged in such a way that they allude to sculptural assemblages.

Guillermo Cárdenas Fischer