About the Artist
Cecelia Condit is an artist whose work addresses the fears and displacement that exist between our selves and society, our selves and the natural world. Condit 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.
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 more environmentally vulnerable worlds, and places where territory and resources are scarce. In these places, wild animals, like turtles, polar bears, giraffes and zebras, exist silently threatened by 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 as a teacher May 2017. Since then I have been leading a very different life. I don’t need a studio any more. Video editing and Photoshop are easily managed in a small extra room. I set up a routine where I get up, meditate, do yoga and set to work editing and sometimes preparing to shoot. The biggest challenge is to find the limit of how long I want to work each day to not overdo it? How much exercise do I need? Who do I see and how often? These questions have an urgency that they didn’t before. It is a beginning that I embrace full-heartedly.
I have just finished a video project, We Were Hardly More Than Children 2019. It tells an epic tale of an illegal abortion in 1969 as lived by two women on a perilous journey through a world that has little concern for their survival. My next video will be an exploration into the universal language of how women are unknowingly lured into an age old pattern of abuse, humiliation and domination.
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.