Cardoso and Harley at 18th Sydney Biennale

The world premiere of the MoCo_Museum of Copulatory Organs will be presented at the next 18th Sydney Biennale, at Building 123 at Cockatoo Island. June 27-Sept 16 2012. Curated by Catherine de Zegher and Gerald McMaster

When I was researching fleas in order to make the Cardoso Flea Circus in 1994, I came across a fascinating paragraph describing flea genitalia and copulation. It said “Fleas have… the most elaborate genital armature yet known”. Years later, I decided to investigate whether it was only fleas that were so magnificently endowed, or whether other animals had interesting genitalia. To my surprise, there is great diversity and complexity in genitalic structures across the animal kingdom. Taxonomists have long known that genitalia is diverse, and they use it as a useful tool for species differentiation. Most recently evolutionary biologists have been investigating the possible reasons for such complexity, and they are talking about sperm competition, female choice and sexual coevolution. My artworks explore the relationship between the morphology of animal genitalia, it’s evolution and evolutionary forces at play, and the aesthetics of it’s representations.