Interview with Katie Guggenheim on the occasion of the exhibition Céline Condorelli at Chisenhale Gallery
Katie Guggenheim: I’d like to start by asking you to introduce the first work people see when they enter the gallery – the huge gold curtain?
Céline Condorelli: The curtain is an entrance piece. I have a specific interest in curtains. They are not quite objects and are completely shapeless except when they are hung. A curtain doesn’t exist without its hanging mechanism, without its supporting structure.
KG: The material you’ve chosen is extremely light, loosely woven plastic.
CC: Yes, it’s so light there’s almost nothing there. It arrived in an envelope. It is interesting how important the presence of something can be in relationship to how insignificant it might seem. Curtains are associated with interior design, so not quite architecture, nor quite art.
KG: They are very gendered objects.
CC: Extremely – both in their making and in the history of soft furnishings in general. Curtains are completely out of fashion, and yet they are such interesting things because they characterise the threshold between inside and outside, between day and night, as well as private and public. The curtain at Chisenhale adds a further threshold. You enter the gallery and find yourself in what seems to be an interior, but then you walk all the way around it and another interior is revealed, with a window to another outside. Opening the window has created another threshold and it introduces other types of domesticities as you can see the houses at the back and you realise there is this kind of back garden situation. (…)