BIOGRAPHY

photograph by Mark Escribano

photograph by Mark Escribano

About the Artist

Since 1981, Condit’s videos have created heroines whose lives swing between beauty and the grotesque, innocence and cruelty, youth and fragility. Her work puts a subversive spin on the traditional mythology of women in film and the psychology of sexuality and violence. Exploring the dark side of female subjectivity, her “feminist fairy tales” focus on friendships, age, and most recently the natural world. She has shown internationally in festivals, museums and alternative spaces, and is represented in collections including the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and Centre Georges Pompidou Musee National d'Art Moderne, Paris, France. She has received numerous awards including grants from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Film Institute, National Endowment for the Arts, and the Mary L. Nohl Foundation. She is a professor emerita in the Department of Film, Video, Animation and New Genres at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA., where she was the director of the graduate program in film for 30-years. 

 

Artist Statement

I consider myself a storyteller working within the psychological landscape of contemporary fairy tales, dreams and poetry. I explore archetypal themes where my characters are often shaped by an innate violence and basic cold-heartedness. The last few years, I find myself leaning towards creating works about memory and the frailty of environmentally vulnerable people and worlds. In these spaces, humans, wild animals, like turtles, polar bears, giraffes and zebras, exist silently threatened by memory loss and possible extinction. These natural landscapes might be a small county park (Tales of a Future Past) a backyard (Some Dark Place), a deserted housing project in Western Ireland (Pulling Up Roots) or a snow-covered rock (Pizzly Bear).

I rounded up my 30-year career teaching May 2017. Since then I have been leading a very different life. It is a beginning that I embrace full-heartedly. I have recently finished a video project, We Were Hardly More Than Children 2019. It tells a tale of a 1969 illegal abortion, as lived by two women on an epic journey through a world that has little concern for their survival. It has received the Ann Arbor Film Festival’s Eileen Maitland Award, given to the film that best addresses women’s issues and elevates female voices, the Chicago Feminist Film Festival Audience Award for Best Experimental Short, and the Milwaukee Short Film Festival Award for Best Director - among others. My next video will be an exploration into the universal language of how women find themselves in the age old pattern of abuse, pull away, remake themselves and recover.

Recently, there has been intense internet exposure for my 1983 musical murder story, Possibly in Michigan that I made with singer/songwriter/composer Karen Skladany. It began one week in 2015, where an excerpt from Possibly in Michigan was on the front page of Reddit. Its YouTube exposure built and built until the summer of 2019 when a 15 second clip from one of the songs was posted on the online performance app TikTok. With that posting, thousands and thousands of young performers responded to the clip ”Oh no, no, no….Silly”. Now Possibly in Michigan has been traveling around the world by way of YouTube’s vast global search engine. Nothing could have prepared me for this breathtaking exposure.

Collaboration RENATO UMALI

Renato Umali (below) wrote the music for We Were Hardly More Than Children. We have collaborated for 6 years and over 6 videos. Renato is a performer, filmmaker, and musician. He writes and directs the annual Umali Awards, an absurdist re-imagining of an Oscars-style awards ceremony. He received his MFA in Film at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and his BA in Music at Northwestern University. As Senior Lecturer in UW-Milwaukee’s Department of Film, Video, Animation & New Genres, Renato teaches Film Score Studio, Multicultural America, Animation for the Web, and Intro to Digital Arts.

with Renato Umali. photograph by Sarah Buccheri

with Renato Umali. photograph by Sarah Buccheri