photograph by Mark Escribano

photograph by Mark Escribano

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. 


Artist Statement

I consider myself a storyteller working within the psychological landscape of contemporary fairy tales, dreams and poetry. I explore archetypal themes of man vs woman, youthful beauty vs old age, deceitful friendship, and bizarre childhood fantasy. 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 this past 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.  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.

Having just begun a new video project, I am at the shooting /conceptual stage. I believe this video has to do with challenges women and girls face that men generally don’t. In Philadelphia 1969, a friend of mine almost died of a consequence of an illegal abortion. The memory of its brutality keeps surfacing in my mind. It was part of a war on women that I experienced throughout my 20s.  My friend doesn’t remember it at all, but it totally changed my life.