Cecelia Condit: Artist Talk and Screening

Cecelia Condit: Artist Talk and Screening

EAI is pleased to host an evening with Cecelia Condit, offering a rare opportunity to engage with the Milwaukee-based artist about her distinctive and iconic video work. Surveying Condit’s videos from the 1980s up to 2017, the screening program will expand the focus beyond her most well-known macabre feminist tales, Beneath the Skin (1981) and Possibly in Michigan (1983), to include more recent, visually lush, installation works, such as the three-channel Within a Stone’s Throw (2012). Condit will introduce the program and take questions from the audience following the screening.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI)
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Fl.
New York, NY 10011

Admission $7, Students $5
Free for EAI Members

Cecelia Condit’s early video works are dissonant fairy tales set in a grotesquery of suburban America, a potent signifier for the insidiousness of oppressive social conventions. Female identity, as it is informed by conventional attitudes towards marriage, childbearing, aging and beauty, is a key concern for Condit, who counters these attitudes with dark humor. An almost whimsical tone – Condit’s use of a storyteller’s inviting cadence, sometimes sweetly sung – is set in striking contrast to narratives of murder and cannibalism, and themes of bodily violation and decay.

Condit studied sculpture at the Philadelphia College of Art, and studied painting at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts where she shared a class with David Lynch, who encouraged her to transition to filmmaking, mirroring his own evolution from painting to moving images. There are other intriguing points of comparison, including a shared interest in the odd stories lurking beneath the banal surface of the everyday, and the use of an indelible formal style, with careful attention paid to sound, texture, composition, color and form. The effect is something of a surreal waking dream.

Distinguishing her work is Condit’s attention to her own identity and experience. Speaking of her approach to genre in an interview with the online magazine River’s Edge, she states: “As a child I found fairy tales fascinating. As I grew up and grow older, I find that making fairy tales, contemporary ones, gives me tremendous artistic freedom. I like the narrative unpredictability, the shape-shifting and the slight touch of feminism. I discovered a book of drawings I had made when I was a little girl. In it, there were pages and pages of crowds of people, young and old, and everyone was a woman. Even at age ten I was trying to define what was the female identity in myself. Perhaps with a twin brother, I had difficulty defining what it means to me to be a woman.”

The program reveals an arc in her career from domestic situations and settings to more global concerns, quite literally in World(2012), while establishing consistent themes that are deeply personal for the artist. At the center of the screening, Condit’s intimate portrait of her mother, Annie Lloyd (2008), will be paired with the more mythical Within a Stone’s Throw, which she filmed in the haunting landscape of coastal Ireland following her mother’s death. The installation features a monumental Condit, dressed in a red dress, as a vibrant lone figure in the sodden grays and blues of the seascape.

Approximate runtime: 63 min.


Cecelia Condit
Cecelia Condit was born in 1947. She received a B.F.A. in sculpture from the Philadelphia College of Art and an M.F.A. in photography from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including grants and fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, American Film Institute, and the National Endowment for the Arts, among others. She is currently Professor of Film and Director of Graduate Studies in Film at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Condit has had numerous exhibitions of her work in film, performance/installation, and photography. In 2008 she had a solo exhibition at Cue Art Foundation Gallery in New York. Her most recent two-channel installation, Tales of a Future Past (2017), is currently on display at the Lynden Sculpture Garden, Milwaukee. Her videos have been widely shown internationally, at institutions and festivals including the International House Philadelphia; the Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany; Julia Stoschek Collection, Dusseldorf, Germany; BAMcinématek, New York; Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York; Paris Biennale; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Institute of Contemporary Art, London; World Wide Video Festival, The Hague; Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute, Pittsburgh; Long Beach Museum of Art, California; and The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Condit lives in Milwaukee.

About EAI
Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI) is a nonprofit arts organization that fosters the creation, exhibition, distribution, and preservation of moving image art. A New York-based international resource for media art and artists, EAI holds a major collection of over 3,500 new and historical media artworks, from groundbreaking early video by pioneering figures of the 1960s to new digital projects by today's emerging artists. EAI works closely with artists, museums, schools and other venues worldwide to preserve and provide access to this significant archive. EAI services also include viewing access, educational initiatives, extensive online resources, technical facilities, and public programs such as artists' talks, screenings, and multi-media performances. EAI's Online Catalogue is a comprehensive resource on the artists and works in the EAI collection, and features expansive materials on media art's histories and current practices: www.eai.org


Electronic Arts Intermix
535 West 22nd Street, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10011
t (212) 337-0680
f (212) 337-0679


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This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council. This presentation is also made possible in part with public funds from the New York State Council on the Arts' Electronic Media and Film Presentation Funds grant program, administered by The ARTS Council of the Southern Finger Lakes.