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Céline Condorelli: The Company We Keep

Lamp with silver-dipped bulb against wall

Céline Condorelli: The Company We Keep

October 3, 2013–April 1, 2014

Curated by Su-Ying Lee

Co-produced by G Gallery, University of Guelph School of Fine Art and the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

The Company We Keep, is an installation of twenty light bulbs, screwed into existing electrical fittings throughout Hart House, which addresses a double absence: the historical exclusion of women both from the house, and from the discourse on friendship in philosophy. The work explores friendship making reference to Hannah Arendt’s definition of culture as “the company that one chooses to keep, in the present as well as in the past”, which suggests the importance of befriending people and also ideas, issues, objects, something chosen and renewed through thinking and doing. Etched on the glass are words and colours that, depending on light conditions and time of the day, show up as shadows on walls or ceilings, in a sequence that would, if navigated and read entirely from room to room, read through a vocabulary of elective affinities, therefore inhabiting the house with the missing voices of friendship.

In addition to this site-specific installation at Hart House, Céline Condorelli will also present an exhibition titled We just came to say No at G Gallery.

The installation and exhibition employ inanimate objects as stand-ins for the voices of the inhabitants of past, latent or forgotten circumstances. Puppets, that at once obscure the human hand and convey human stories, recount histories of injustice in Condorelli’s video installation We just came to say No. In the instance of The Company We Keep, the light bulb, an essential everyday object and symbol of progress, is used to reveal the shadows of friendship. Both these works demonstrate the artist’s attentiveness to context. We just came to say No mines the political history and the puppeteering tradition of Sicily while The Company We Keep is a work specially produced for Hart House, a gothic revival building with a long extracurricular history, particularly catering to the male academic.

Opening Reception

Thursday October 3, 2013, 6:30-8:30 pm

Support Structures: A workshop with Céline Condorelli

Saturday November 24, 2012, 11am-2pm
Hart House

Film Installation

We just came to say No
Friday September 13-Saturday, October 26, 2013
G Gallery

Artist Talk

Monday October 7, 2013
Featuring Céline Condorelli
University of Guelph School of Fine Art

Media Coverage

Our Supporters

We gratefully acknowledge the operating support from the Canada Council for the Arts with additional project support from the Graham Foundation.

Title Image: Installation view of Céline Condorelli: The Company We Keep, 2013-2014. Image credit: Toni Hafkenscheid.

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