Praxis is pleased to present Tracing the Out of Sight, the solo exhibition by Cristina Camacho (b. 1987, Bogota, Colombia).
A reception to celebrate the opening will be held at 541 West 25th Street, NY, NY 10001, on Thursday, April 6th, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm.
To know one’s own state is not a simple matter. One cannot look directly at one’s own face with one’s own eyes, for example. One has no choice but to look at ones reflection in the mirror. Through experience, we come to believe that the image is correct, but that is all.”
(Haruki Murakami, The Wind-up Bird Chronicle)
Since Emmanuel Lévinas, every face-to-face encounter is considered the core of the basic human communication. Before words or deeds, there was the gaze, the relation to the other in order to know oneself. Every face-to-face encounter involves looking at the singularity presented without being too afraid to stare, nor too naïve to transform that singularity into a general concept.
In Tracing the Out of Sight, Camacho extends an invitation to engage in a face-to-face confrontation with each painting. The artist’s obsession with faces comes from their paradoxical nature: on the one hand, they present the most intimate and singular aspect of oneself, however; they are not accessible to the bearer, or one should say, to the face owner. This aporia of the faces is what drives Camacho’s new body of work: the impossibility to access, to gaze, to encounter, to look at the most singular facet of oneself. Almost as if our identity is hidden from us, yet it is so public that anyone can look at it. This double nature of intimacy and publicity of the faces is presented in the show. Every painting has a proper name, and it is signifying not a general concept, but rather a pure and singular factuality: a face is only accessible through reflection.
Along with the faces, Camacho presents a group of works, which she calls skeletons. These smaller paintings are the results of her previous show, Bilateral Dissections, where she presented the dissected bodies of anthropomorphic selves that were neither planned nor sketched. With the skeletons, the artist aims to embody the bones that were under those creatures. In her inverse process of creation, first comes the painting and then the structure, the sketch.
With her painting and cutting, she introduces us in a canvas that stops being a canvas to become something else that is singular, palpable and real. It is not an object to be seen, but rather to communicate with, like a face-to-face encounter. Camacho traces what cannot be seen, what is out of sight. Both the faces and the skeletons are the buildup of ones identity; yet, one does not have direct access to neither of them.