Céline Condorelli “Equipment” at Significant Other, Wien
In her solo-show Equipment Céline Condorelli orchestrates a conversation between exhibitions and public art, a link mostly absent in seemingly close categories, which strangely are often inhabited by different artists, systems, places and practices.
In combining an exhibition, its interface to the city and a sculpture-as-public-space, Condorelli invites us to consider the exhibition as the first step of making art public, and art in public space as a potential social testing ground, while simultaneously working against a persistently exclusive dimension of culture.
Making an exhibition that is half inside – half outside, half open 24/7 – half open according to business hours, half street furniture – half fine art, but conceived as one piece – means it can be seen and visited but also used for meeting, sitting, relaxing, eating ice cream or performing.
For the newly commissioned work, Céline Condorelli presents us with several so called play sculptures in different scales, as well as contextual material, creating a fluid conceptual and spatial bond between usually strictly separated categories of the ‘exhibition’ and ‘art in public space’. Allowing for intimate contact with cultural objects, these works can be used and touched. They have multiple lives as they make reference to works by others, and function as a rehearsal for future playgrounds, while fulfilling spatial and social functions acting as a stage for daily and cultural life.
While a very lively district, the 7th is not one that easily invites to linger outdoors apart from commercially designated areas, private courtyard gardens or the odd busstop bench here and there.
In this sense the proposed sculptures take shape as a result of Condorelli’s ongoing research into ideas of the playground or playing as a tool to achieve social and subjective change within the city fabric, borrowing conceptually and visually from projects such as Aldo van Eyck’s post-WWII modular playgrounds, which were created by engaged urban developer Jacoba Mulder and lead to over 1000 commissioned playgrounds and his famous conception of a vocabulary of shapes called ’Tools for Imagination’, but also ideas of Lina Bo Bardi’s vision for the Museum of Art of Sao Paulo demanding museums to take responsibility for public and popular programmes or Palle Nielsen’s ‘Model for a Qualitative Society’, where the Moderna Museet was turned into a case study for society constructing itself through playing.
The exhibition Equipment has been produced in cooperation with phileas – A Fund for Contemporary Art and legero united | con-tempus.eu as well as the Austrian Federal Chancellery.
At Significant Other, Wien
Until 21 September 2019