Praxis is pleased to present /ˈvʌlvə/, a solo exhibition by Cristina Camacho (b. 1987, Bogota, Colombia). A reception to celebrate the opening of the show will be held at our space at 501 W 20th Street, New York, NY 10011, on Thursday, May 16th, from 6 pm to 8 pm.
Cristina Camacho’s work is a multilayered art, not only because she weaves canvases together to let us see beyond the surface and give voice to the void it conceals, but also because she is attempting to weave together the encounter and dis-encounter of language, power, and reality.
This exhibition is a self-graphical gesture to name what has been expropriated from women, to name what male-dominated language concealed from the world: vulva. It is a commonplace to say that language creates and modulates reality, but sometimes we need art to understand the implications of this affirmation. If the words we have to signify the vulva are ones that deprives women to have a say in their own body, then the only way to resist this loss is by creating a language without categories to regain ownership of what has never been owned.
The paintings shown in this exhibition evoke geometrical subtlety and a void that will pull the viewer inside the canvas. Cristina weaves together the primal elements of any image or representation: lines and colors. Cutting the canvas and reshaping it, is what she does. Her art not only makes the canvas a sculptural locus, it unfolds the infinite possibilities of the canvas in its finite materiality. These works of art, unlike her previous ones, are charged with symbolism, pattern, and texture. They are not tridimensional canvases, they are the delicate fabric that emerges when we see reality through Cristina’s eyes: there is no inside and outside in these works of art, there is only the footprint that when lines and colors start to collide, we get a glimpse of reality in all its complexity, emptiness, texture and beauty. Cristina reminds us that while geometry is a tool for mapping reality, the latter exceeds our capacity to capture it. All there is left are images of it: lines and colors contradicting and enriching one another.
This art is not ornamental, it is a gesture of resistance. Cristina’s tools for resisting language and domination is by cutting the surface of the canvas, by defying the pre-established surface of reality designed by a dispossessed language to create an image that paves the way to signify what has not been named. These works are invitations to see what have been hidden from us by ourselves, society, and others.