I Always Hear you Before I See You

12 Jan — 18 Feb 2017 at Praxis in New York, United States

28 JANUARY 2017
Fernando do Campo, Eight Brooklyn Birds, 2016. Courtesy of Praxis
Fernando do Campo, Eight Brooklyn Birds, 2016. Courtesy of Praxis

Praxis is pleased to present I Always Hear You Before I See You, the solo exhibition by Fernando do Campo (b. 1987, Mar del Plata, Argentina).

A reception to celebrate the opening will be held at 541 West 25th Street, NY, NY 10001, on Thursday, January 12th, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm.

It is the common practice of most humans to notice variables in their environment upon shifting to a foreign landscape. While there are many things that I perceive through this process; the most important variable is birds.

I Always Hear You Before I See You archives the moments of confusion, nostalgia, double-vision, that occur when one attempts to locate oneself in a new place. The birds that I see and my practice as a birdwatcher of classifying them, offers me an opportunity to construct a memory-list of each new location. Such a practice requires: one to think of what they are seeing, a tool set consisting of knowledge of other species, and most importantly; the visual memory to perceive another creature, cognitively name it, and confirm its presence in that given landscape. Through this last form of identification, I the human salute the bird as a co-inhabitant of that location.

This final affirmation is not always present. My peripatetic biography reminds me of the many instances when: the bird didn’t pause, I didn’t look, it didn’t call; and ultimately I didn’t perceive. I am left longing. In these paintings, birds function as a signifier for multiple forms of melancholia. The conventional birdwatcher only documents the instances when a bird is certainly perceived. In my list of birds (in this group of paintings) I document the birds that I missed. The prose is written as if for a missing lover, a last adventure, a lost land. Typography, abstraction and their many potentialities in between, find a space to think through the way we project language. These unidentified birds offer a way of documenting a form of greyzone, and co-inhabited landscapes. I Always Hear You Before I See You constructs an archive of ‘what-ifs’, ‘maybes’ and ‘hopefullys’. Painting is a vessel for projection systems to operate; in these works text enters that conduit and becomes another form of projection.