Almine Rech⎜Paris, Matignon is pleased to present Alejandro Cardenas’s second solo exhibition with the gallery, on view from June 30 to July 31, 2021.
The term PARADOXA stems from one of the seven zoological classes that the eighteenth-century Swedish naturalist Carl von Linné established in order to classify animals in Systema Naturæ. The class titled PARADOXA included not only legendary creatures from medieval bestiaries (such as dragons, the Hydra, or the Phoenix), but also real animals (such as narwhales, pelicans, or antelopes), which did not fit into any of the six other classes. The latter set of taxa was thus a paradox in terms of natural history. Animals in it existed but could not be fully identified with any other category of living animals because of their idiosyncratic character. Their own existence could not be comprehended according to common zoological views of the time. As such, these animals created a gap within von Linné’s system.
This very characteristic seems to be a metaphor of Cardenas’s paintings, for they capture the ineffable part of the real, depict what creates a gap within the real, or what people make fall under nominalist categories that help them digest the real, at the expense of its true identity.