Fernando do Campo
To companion a companion
Fernando do Campo
Exhibition dates: 23 January – 28 February 2021
Exhibition opening event: Friday 22 January 2021
Performances have unfortunately been postponed due to issues related to covid travel restrictions.
Non-human animals have historically been mobilized and introduced into foreign spaces. Encountering birds in urban spaces signifies multiple histories and affects all at once: colonial, migratory, nationalistic, anthropogenic. The archived histories of bird introductions are similarly woven with contradictions.
To companion a companion is an exhibition of new work by Argentinean-Australian artist Fernando do Campo. This project is situated with one foot in the field and one foot in the archive. Focusing on ‘companioning’ as an artistic strategy when engaging with the knotted histories we encounter in urban multispecies encounters. The exhibition proposes companioning non-humans and their histories through listening, painting and archiving, and non-verbal forms of communicating. Can the human become the companion to the companion species?
As well as being an artist, Fernando do Campo has been working as a volunteer (amateur) historian for the HSSH (House Sparrow Society for Humans) since 2014, piecing together their disparate archives across the Americas and Australia. In the Green-wood Cemetery archives in Brooklyn, he found a dusty box of slides and letters dating back to the 1950’s which turned out to be correspondence between the modernist painter Barnett Newman and the HSSH. This exhibition-history-birdwatching tour will discuss such multispecies knots as we find them in the archive and in the field.
Fernando do Campo (b. Mar del Plata, Argentina 1987) is an artist based in Sydney. Fernando has presented solo exhibitions in Australia and the USA and group exhibitions internationally. He has received grants from the Australian Regional Arts Fund, Arts Tasmania, Ian Potter Cultural Trust, Australia Council for the Arts, Create NSW and The New School. He is a Sir General John Monash Foundation Scholar. fernandodocampo.com
To companion a companion is presented by project partners CAT – Hobart 2021, UNSW Galleries – Sydney 2021, PICA – Perth 2022
Image credit: Pishing in the archive, single channel HD video, (production still), 2021