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Céline Condorelli: Support Structures


Apr 3–30, 2019
(free and open to the public)

What does it mean to practice support? How can collective strategies be used to create community and thus a support network? How can we as curators and creative practitioners build and implement support structures within institutions? This month as part of our Case Studies exhibition, we selected titles that speak to these questions through a range of methodologies, analyses, and alternative models of support in the arts. In Gärten der Kooperation, for example, the German writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge creates exhibitions that function as spaces of cooperation. These spaces revolve around the idea of collective work in order to achieve a state of “emancipation” or a state free of repressive living conditions. Other books, such as The Constituent Museum: Constellations of Knowledge, Politics, and Mediation edited by John Byrne, Elinor Morgan, November Paynter, Aida Sánchez de Serdio, and Adela Železnik, challenge readers to imagine an institutional structure that prioritizes relationships through practices of collaboration and co-production. The book Dimensions of Citizenship discusses how architecture can communicate belonging in relation to the individual and the collective. And, the book Community Art: The Politics of Trespassing explores the possibilities of community and, in doing so, challenges and critically reformulates the term “community art.” Through the exploration of commoning as a subject as well a form of collective study, the book Spaces of Commoning: Artistic Research and the Utopia of the Everyday guides us towards alternative means of research and ways of acquiring knowledge. These books, in one form or another, dive into and circle around the theme of “Support,” presenting alternative means, definitions, and ways of being together and collectivity.

To this end, for our Case Studies this month we have selected the French artist Céline Condorelli’s book Support Structures as the point of departure for thinking about “support.” In her book Condorelli brings attention to the invisible structures that often shape the way in which we navigate the world. The book asks “Can we re-focus our attention to thinking through a lens of support?” while examining a range of possibilities for foregrounding and thinking through what is support. Indeed, the concept and organization of the book itself functions as a supporting structure. Condorelli and her project collaborator the artist and curator Gavin Wade consider it a “manual for engagement” offering a functional blueprint outlining means of and ways for providing support. Through the vast collection of contributions, from cultural theorist Jan Verwoert to artists Lawrence Weiner and Andrea Fraser, featured in the edited volume, the book presents frameworks and models that offer and provide new means to think about what is support.

Orly Vermes, CCA Graduate Student in Curatorial Practice

Case Studies #8 is organized by Orly Vermes, CCA Curatorial Practice graduate student, and Wei Wang, Curatorial Research Bureau Bookshop Coordinator.

Case Studies identifies a book to unfurl into an exhibition of archival materials, photographic reproductions, periodicals, ephemera, sound, and text that amplify ideas explored by the featured publication.