August 27 - September 1, 2020
“This week’s Nasher Windows exhibition features the work of artist Sara Cardona and runs August 27-September 1, 2020. This is the final installation in this series.
Sara Cardona’s installation Dale, Dale, Dale! (Give it, Give it, Give it!) envisions the space of the Nasher’s vestibule as a microcosm for our current moment of societal and cultural upheaval. Drawing upon the concept of edge-of-chaos theory, which proposes that the moment of a system’s breakdown can yield unexpected and potentially beneficial changes, Cardona has imagined a place of potential transition where, as Cardona puts it, “the entropic energy suspended within each of us connects us in a distributed network of possibilities.” The artist worked with local craftsmen to create twelve star-shaped piñatas that she has arrayed like a constellation within the Nasher vestibule; they are partly covered in silver reflective paper as an allusion to the cosmos, an impression complemented by the addition of a soundscape inspired by recordings from the Cassini spacecraft as it flew close to Saturn and Jupiter, and composed by Sunset Valley Group (a sound artist who prefers to remain anonymous). As Cardona points out, the piñata’s shamanic origins are linked to the idea of shattering the old and dispelling negative forces to usher in a better future, with the bounty that spills out of a broken piñata also serving as an offering to nature.
In Dale, Dale, Dale!, the ritual of trying to break open a piñata can be understood as a metaphor for our current disorientation and the importance of community for developing solutions to it: the piñatas’ reflective surfaces not only mirror the architecture of the Nasher’s vestibule but the work’s onlookers as well. “Every person can take an action or not,” Cardona explains, “but in either case, their decision will have implications for every other being on the planet.” There is a song traditionally sung in Spanish by family, friends and community members as a blindfolded individual is spun around and then tries to hit the piñata—an apt metaphor for how to get through a trying and difficult situation:
Dale, dale, dale,
No pierdas el tino,
Porque si lo pierdes
Pierdes el camino.
(give it, give it, give it [a whack]
don’t lose your good judgement [of where the piñata is]
because if you lose it,
you’ll lose your way.)
Artist Sara Cardona on Dale, Dale, Dale!:
“[I’ve] been thinking about the events that have unfolded in the past few months as a time of great transition, and reflecting on the way ancient advanced civilizations, such as the Mayans, have responded to seismic social shifts in their culture. Often, events such as plagues, droughts and famines were seen as signs that the society had fallen out of balance with the natural forces. They were considered cosmic events in their magnitude, but also were experienced as the closure of one epoch and had the potential for regeneration…. [This] work also incorporates ideas from theories about the edge of chaos, which posits that the strongest creative potential lies in spaces in which systems begin to break down but are not thrust entirely into an anarchical chaos. The edge of chaos is a transitional space between order and disorder that is hypothesized to exist within a wide variety of systems. This transition zone is a region of bounded instability that engenders a constant dynamic interplay between order and disorder, and in this area new ideas are generated.”
About Sara Cardona
Sara Cardona was born in Mexico City and currently lives and works in Dallas. She uses the analog process of cut-and-paste to create collages in the tradition of early twentieth-century assemblage and in a nod to the editing process of film. These collages then become the foundation for large-scale sculptures in paper and metal, which are inspired by the idea of distributive human networks of capital and consumption. As an artist who grew up in a family involved in the film and theater industry, her work is informed by the intersection of artifice, spectacle, photography and scenic construction. Her work is currently on exhibition this summer at the Erin Cluley Gallery and in Texas Women: A New History of Abstract Art at The San Antonio Museum of Art. She is a recipient of a 2020 Nasher Artist Grant and a past recipient of the Dallas Museum of Art Kimbrough Award, as well as a C3 Visiting Artist at the DMA. Cardona studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, received her BA from UT Austin, her MFA from Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA, and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Skowhegan, ME.”
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