Born 1974 in Paris, France Lives and works in London, England
Céline Condorelli is an artist trained in architecture, and her broad practice often merges ideas of exhibition, politics, public space, fiction, discussion and installation across a variety of projects. Throughout her work, there is an overarching interest in the nature of ‘support’ or ‘supporting’. Condorelli has identified three specific and simultaneous strands of this support that fascinate her: the role of support through the performative and the theatrical (stages and staging devices); support through physical structures; and structures as forms of commonality, exploring the question of how to live autonomously and together, forms of communing and of being in common.
‘The circle is perfect and outside time. The wind blows dust in tiger’s eyes. Amy reflects, relaxes with her mind, which puts out buds (emulates the tree). Amy jumps through the circle and comforts the tiger. The tiger sleeps in the tree. High wind. Amy climbs the tree. The tiger sleeps in the tree. High wind. Amy climbs the tree, which groans in the wind and succumbs. The tiger burns.’
Cornelius Cardew, The Tiger’s Mind, 1967
Céline Condorelli’s Structure for Communicating with Wind, 2012–13/16, is one of a series of five sculptures-as-installations produced in 2012–13 as part of a year-long collaborative project initiated by filmmaker Beatrice Gibson and typographer Will Holder. Called The Tiger’s Mind, the project was based on the 1967 character-driven, improvisational score written by avant-garde British composer Cornelius Cardew. Unlike any other piece of experimental music written at that time, Cardew’s The Tiger’s Mind eschews musical notation altogether. Instead, it presents a short, playful, nursery-rhyme-like narrative featuring six characters – Wind, Tiger, Circle, Amy, Mind and Tree – that performers must use as the basis for improvisation and musical interaction.
Gibson and Holder’s collective experiment set out to explore some of the contemporary visual and aural consequences of these instructions, and participants each took on a role from the score and responded in their own particular medium – be it film, text, sculpture or sound. As ‘Tiger’, Condorelli’s resultant sculptures, called Additionals, were attempts ‘to articulate each of [Tiger’s] relationships with the other characters spatially’.
Assembled from a range of modest construction materials and found objects, these Additionals appear as large, quasi-functional props that sit somewhere between furniture and architecture, referencing set design, conceptual art and architectural proposals. As structures, they seek to enable ‘communicating, listening, preparing, reading and public speaking’ for and between each of Cardew’s characters as reimagined by Condorelli.
In Structure for Communicating with Wind, a large metallic curtain made from lightweight space blankets ‘provides presence to what passes unseen and unheard: the abstracted form carrying Wind’s news to Tiger, silently’.
Condorelli has exhibited extensively with solo presentations that include, ‘bau bau’, HangarBicocca, Milan (2015); ‘Positions’, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven (2014); ‘Céline Condorelli’, Chisenhale Gallery, London (2014). Group exhibitions in which the artist has participated include, ‘Display Show’, Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2015); ‘In Search of Matisse’, Henie Onstadt Museum, Oslo (2015); ‘Function Follows Vision, Vision Follows Reality’, Kunsthalle Wien, Vienna (2015); and ‘Art in the Age of Energy & Raw Material’, Witte de With, Rotterdam (2015).