Maria Fernanda Cardoso

Telepresent Animal Hall of Fame, Artist


Maria Fernanda Cardoso is an international artist, born in Colombia, currently living in Sydney, Australia. Graduating from Yale University with a Masters degree in Sculpture and Installation in 1990, she is well known for her unconventional use of materials and the use of animals as inspiration. Cardoso exhibits widely in major museums and galleries in the US, Latin America, Australia and Europe.

In 2003, she had a major solo show “Zoomorphia” at Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, and a mid-career survey at BLLA, the leading contemporary art museum in Bogota, Colombia. In 2000, the Museum of Modern Art in New York commissioned her to make a major installation for their millennium show, “Modern Starts”. In 2003 she represented Colombia at the Venice Biennale, exhibiting a large installation of starfish woven together into a submarine landscape titled Woven Water. Other projects include shows at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in New York, PS1, the San Francisco Exploratorium, the Centre Georges Pompidou, Fundacion La Caixa in Barcelona, the DAROS Foundation in Zurich and the Centro Reina Sofia in Madrid.

Her best known project, the Cardoso Flea Circus, was recently acquired by the Tate Gallery in London as part of its permanent collection. The Circus has been widely exhibited in festivals and museums around the world, and was performed at the Sydney Opera House as part of the Sydney Festival 2000. Other collections include the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, Miami Art Museum, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Daros Collection, BLLA and Mambo Collections in Bogota, National Art Gallery, Canberra and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney, among others. Cardoso has been a visiting artist and professor at the California Institute for the Arts in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Art Institute and the Universidad de Los Andes in Bogota. GRANTPIRRIE Gallery and ARC ONE Gallery represent her in Sydney and Melbourne.


Maria Fernanda Cardoso takes part in the Telepresent Animal Exhibition, February to May 2014.

Flea circus: San Franscisco Exploratorium 1996

The Telepresent Animal Hall of Fame

Cardoso created a flea circus that included the following “performers” and “stuntfleas”: Harry Fleadini, an escape artist; Samson and Delilah, fleas that lifted cotton ball weights; Teeny and Tiny, tightrope walkers; Pipita and Pepon, a flea couple who pushed luminescent balls on a wire; and Brutus, who pulled a locomotive. The first public performance of the Cardoso Flea Circus took place in October 1996 at San Francisco's Exploratorium. Because of the size of the fleas, she collaborated with Ross Rudesch Harley to create a video that would help.


Cardoso Flea Circus Video

Museo de Órganos Copulatorios