For this show, Cardoso and Estna developed two individual groups of work in parallel, exchanging occasional thoughts throughout the length of a year, since their first meeting. Estna contacted Cardoso and both agreed on producing the show currently on view at Múrias Centeno, Porto, as well as an upcoming show at Temnikova & Kasala gallery, Tallinn, Estonia (2017). Apart from their own works, they were interested in exploring the potentialities of a collaboration made in situ, engaging with local conditions and situations. Their collaboration resulted on a tile panel, a shared ground, literally, displayed throughout the floor of the gallery, both forming and undoing a pattern, mining the gallery space and defining the bodies’ movement.
Cardoso and Estna each work in a singular mode, within the broad medium of painting. Their individual works connect via a certain handling of the medium, namely a type of perform-activity, the actual handling of the painting-object, and an engagement with the history of abstraction. They both share a relation to the all-over, the template, the digital vs. the expressiveness of a gendered language that seeps through the opacity of the medium, the actual material of painting.
Cardoso’s paintings on view are, in formal terms, variations on the format of a single rectangle. The paintings are thus pre-formatted but also generate new outcomes: added parts, cut corners, etc. There are diptychs that induce a three-dimensional reading, even though through a flattened object-hood. Images, drawings, loose notations get framed within this formal process. The reference to virtual pages — the doc or pdf are quoted — creates a metaphor for contemporary painting’s own circulation.
Estna’s works are also variations, mostly centered on a technique that mimics the erasing tool on Photoshop. Her tentative drawings are trailing erasures of painting layers, planned with the help of digital imaging software. Her attention lies on the translation of this simple effacing act into a complicated painting process that randomly enables possible outcomes. Being traditional painting a layering process, the sign of erasure (not actual erasure), questions the medium at its core — where process collides with artifice.
They produced the tiles at Oficinas do Convento in Montemor-o-Novo, Portugal, following a pattern designed by Cardoso, and derived from some of her modular 3D folding paintings. They painted the tiles following traditional techniques of serial sponging and brush stroking, already present in their own paintings.
Photos by Bruno Lopes.
Ana Cardoso & Merike Estna - The seed can be initialised randomly
Múrias Centeno, June 25 - September 24