Praxis is pleased to present I Always Hear You Before I See You, the solo exhibition by Fernando do Campo (b. 1987, Mar del Plata, Argentina). A reception to celebrate the opening will be held at 541 West 25th Street, NY, NY 10001, on Thursday, January 12th, 2017 from 6 to 8 pm.
It is the common practice of most humans to notice variables in their environment upon shifting to a foreign landscape. While there are many things that I perceive through this process; the most important variable is birds.
I Always Hear You Before I See You archives the moments of confusion, nostalgia, double-vision, that occur when one attempts to locate oneself in a new place. The birds that I see and my practice as a birdwatcher of classifying them, offers me an opportunity to construct a memory-list of each new location. Such a practice requires: one to think of what they are seeing, a tool set consisting of knowledge of other species, and most importantly; the visual memory to perceive another creature, cognitively name it, and confirm its presence in that given landscape. Through this last form of identification, I the human salute the bird as a co-inhabitant of that location.
This final affirmation is not always present. My peripatetic biography reminds me of the many instances when: the bird didn’t pause, I didn’t look, it didn’t call; and ultimately I didn’t perceive. I am left longing. In these paintings, birds function as a signifier for multiple forms of melancholia. The conventional birdwatcher only documents the instances when a bird is certainly perceived. In my list of birds (in this group of paintings) I document the birds that I missed. The prose is written as if for a missing lover, a last adventure, a lost land. Typography, abstraction and their many potentialities in between, find a space to think through the way we project language. These unidentified birds offer a way of documenting a form of greyzone, and co-inhabited landscapes. I Always Hear You Before I See You constructs an archive of ‘what-ifs’, ‘maybes’ and ‘hopefullys’. Painting is a vessel for projection systems to operate; in these works text enters that conduit and becomes another form of projection.
Fernando do Campo, 2016