Artist Statement

I consider myself a storyteller whose work swings between beauty and the grotesque, sincerity and the macabre, innocence and cruelty. In the psychological landscape of contemporary fairy tales, I have tried to chart a course, which addresses the ambiguities between personal identity and the external expectations, which lie just beneath the surface of everyday life.

Music also seems to come from a primordial space that sits just outside the frame, always loaded with irony, danger or both. It sets the tone and clarifies what I want the viewer to experience. I have begun to think of music as a strange language - both intimate and very foreign. It is able to express sensations that I cannot say with either spoken words or visual images.

With an increasing interest in landscape and the natural world, I have turned my attention to stories of time and space, as they pertain to the planet. Interested in the unfolding of human and geologic time, I probe the connections and displacements that exist between our selves and society, our selves and the natural world.

In my recent work, place has become synonymous with self and both of my most recent films have been shot in Western Ireland. In Pulling Up Roots a woman lives in the timelessness of a post apocalyptic world. Filmed in a housing project abandoned in the 2008 Celtic Tiger, she uproots exotic plants and flowers, as one might collect stories and memories one can’t understand. The operatic songs and childlike rhymes give a sense of naiveté and strength that comes from her solitude. From a playful skip around the yard, to a moment where profound sadness gives way to unexpected laughter, she explores an entire lifetime of emotions in mere minutes.

In Within a Stone’s Throw, a woman picks up a stone and throws it. She stands on a threshold in time and watches as her stone travels around the world. The rock is a measurement of antiquity, an anti-diluvium gesture that takes a measure of the world. Within a Stone’s Throw was filmed in the rich landscape of Ireland’s Burren coastline. Once dominated by dense oak forests, the Burren region—from the Gaelic boíreann, meaning rocky place—shows the effects of continuous settlement dating back to the Neolithic period.

My earlier videos address violence against women and a dark side of female subjectivity. There the dark forest of dreams presents unclear guideposts and few to trust. One of the lines in Possibly in Michigan is, “But love shouldn’t cost an arm and a leg.” And of course it shouldn’t.


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 currently a Professor in the Department of Film, Video, Animation and New Genres at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, USA.