Though María Fernanda Cardoso (b. 1963) is one of the best-known Colombian artists on the international stage, whose works are widely exhibited and discussed, there are very few documents that mention the link between her work and the violence in Colombia.
The link between art and violence has been extensively explored in Colombia, and consequently has been stigmatized and frequently over-simplified; many nuances and features of individual works are therefore often overlooked. On the other hand, this interview explores those aspects in great depth as a result of the research done by Carmen María Jaramillo (b. 1958) into the connection between the Colombian troubles and the work of certain artists.
That research prompted Jaramillo to curate Otras Miradas = Other Glances (2004), an exhibition that traveled to several countries from 2004 to 2006, that included several works from María Fernanda Cardoso’s series Coronas funerarias [Funeral Wreaths], (1991), her response to the violence that devastated Colombia in the 1980s and 1990s. As the artist explains, at the time, she was studying in San Francisco, California, and expressed her reaction to events in Colombia in her earliest works with stuffed animals (mummies). One of those works was Corona para una princesa chibcha [Wreath for a Chibcha Princess], (1990), the artist’s attempt to present an ecstatic image as an offering to death in an ongoing enquiry into the life and death dialectic that she began to contemplate while creating her first work (with corn) in 1987.