M. Kardinal is a photographer in the actual sense. She affirms herself in her individual present time by using light to depict an understanding of the word’s original meaning. The artist finds the existential plateau in her life on the road, in travel and by returning to the place of presumed personal authenticity. She aims to constantly sense the latter anew in the labile provisional solution. A concentrated form of purposeful nervousness characterises the creative energy of a sensitive artistic personality. Not just in the classical subject but also in the tradition of the black-and-white photography of the early 20th century, the artistic position of M. Kardinal is primarily manifested in the almost monochrome photographies: Pastel-coloured, subtly composed Polaroid triptychs, as well as a series of mostly sepia-coloured photographic psychograms in a medium format, characterise the picture series “Segments of substantiality”. In front of a fragmentarily ornamented wall, she stages her own person in time exposures. The support and orientation for the fleeting positionings in the picture is provided by a plaster bust, behind which the figure is fixated photographically in an almost identical shadowy silhouette. Through the path of the medial transfers, the artist reveals her mental state. The viewer becomes witness to an existentially necessary dialogue between introspection and the outer world.
In the video works, the impression of what is insinuated and the sense of the relict in the incompleteness of earlier video technology in the painterly attitude is consistently continued. In combination and in structural interpenetration, the installation “Shima” is the immanent medial substance of photographic strategies and transposes the kinetic-plastic level back into the filmic medium of the designed light.
The accompanying sound is restricted to the reproduction of mechanical camera noises and fragments of speech that produce physically sensual associations between whispering, aspirating and breathing, as well as the sparingly used minimalistic sound collages.
With the constantly recurring implicit attempt to affirm herself in the present by preserving it, the artist approaches archetypal image concepts. Simultaneously sensitive and precise, M. Kardinal develops an almost melancholy pictorial language without sinking into depressive moods. The retrospect and awakening materialise in the current moment of the photographic track and merge timelessly in the picture.
Michael Soltau, October 2012