Araucaria examines the artistic career of the Uruguayan-born, New York-based artist Rimer Cardillo during the last decade through a selection of prints, mixed-media and sculptural works, and installations as well as several new works commissioned by the Museum for this exhibition. Cardillo's work operates at the intersection of identity, culture, history, and nature to investigate the relationship between ancestral and contemporary histories. His artistic production represents a critique of the western opposition between nature and culture by establishing parallels between a remote past (the cultural genocide of South American indigenous communities in a colonial context) and a more recent reality (the ecological devastation of this region's natural resources within a post-colonial and post-industrial era). The exhibition's subtitle, "Araucaria" underscores metaphorically these cultural and environmental concerns and refers to a member of the pine tree family native to South America. The araucaria tree once dominated immense forestial areas in Brazil and Chile, but, like much of the natural terrain in this region, has undergone severe abuse and faces near extinction. For Cardillo, the representation of nature is linked to a dual process of recuperation and renewal. Nature is both a reflection of the past and the hope for the future.
Pub Date: 1998
Publisher: Bronx Museum of the Arts, The
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