The new exhibition by Cynthia Kampelmacher at Nora Fisch contains three works — three games of appearances where nothing is what it seems to be. Two installations and an object inhabit a room, secretly looking at each other. The common black color relates them while they keep a prudent distance between one another. Each one of these artworks seems to fold into itself, transforming until they meld into their own shadows.
A drawing with the structure of a forest, originally four meters long, hangs suspended in space, near the ceiling; it’s been dented and lacquered. The distorted drawing becomes three-dimensional, a spiral cloud where the light fights its way through the strokes of graphite and the creases of the paper turned into white air: The sculpture preserves the memory of its previous shape.
The piled-up parts of a dismantled closet, all painted black, rest on two walls of the same color. A corner absorbs the light, where only absence remains; it’s the ghost of an everyday object with all its traces made invisible under the dark layer of paint. At its side, a small black and white photograph shows the “crime scene” — the exact place where the piece of furniture used to rest in the artist’s studio. As in forensic images, the body of the closet appears as a white silhouette, outlining the emptiness, its disappearance.
A painting, made up of several wooden boards, depicting a cut-out texture of branches, lies on the floor. In a delicately provisional order, the layers of this forest appear over-imposed, folding themselves again and again to form multiple combinations, to establish new relations among each other and with their surroundings.
In all these metamorphoses, the procedure of Kampelmacher’s work reveals itself. Working from the negative, she reconstructs these images; she gives other meanings to those objects. The paper in the drawing’s case works as a filter and lets the shadows pass through in a play of different degrees of transparency and opacity.
The details of wood emerging from underneath the carved layer of black paint possesses information about the labyrinthian forest. Those small details that emerge — after having been hidden by the black that covers the closet — they are the parts that once gave life to that body and all fight to become the perfect fetish: the iron fittings, the hinges, the nails and a small, lost key attached to a green ribbon.
With those gestures, with those changing and living folds, Kamplemacher achieves a subtle and hypnotic reconfiguration of the space, multi-plying it. Because the multiple is not only that which has several parts, but that which is folded in many ways. My look desires to go behind those objects, between those folds. It goes beyond what it sees, attempts to cross over, to see what lies on the other side. But on the other side of that mirror waits the infinite. And the infinite seems almost impossible. Or as Kampelmacher might say, You never know.