• Architecture as Social Form: The Company We Keep
    Céline Condorelli
    Su-Ying Lee
    Justina M. Barnicke Gallery at Hart House, Toronto
    Oct 03, 2013 to Aug 01, 2014
    Justina M. Barnicke Gallery

Céline Condorelli, view of The Company We Keep, Hart House, 2013, Toronto, Canada. Photo: Toni Hafkenscheid.

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. Etched on the glass are words and colors that, depending on light conditions and time of the day, show up as shadows on walls or ceilings, in a sequence that, if read entirely from room to room, read through a vocabulary of elective affinities, therefore inhabiting the house with the missing voices of friendship. Condorelli's cross-disciplinary work develops possibilities for "supporting' the work of others and new forms of political imaginary, while also making broader enquiries into forms of commonality and discursive sites. Hart House's profile brings to mind exacting associations, the boundaries of which are tested through Architecture as Social Form, the installation's parent project.

Céline Condorelli works broadly speaking, with art and architecture, combining a number of approaches from developing possibilities for "supporting." Condorelli is currently a professor at the Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti, Milan and has also taught and presented in numerous other capacities. She is a founding member of the collective who are creating Eastside Projects, a new public art space for the city of Birmingham and the world. Other long-term projects include Support Structures with artist, curator Gavin Wade.

Su-Ying Lee is assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, and former curator-in-residence at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery (2011–2012). She received an MA in Visual Studies, Curatorial (2011) and a BA in Art and Art History (2003) from the University of Toronto. Her institutional work experience includes assignments with the Art Gallery of Mississauga, the Blackwood Gallery, and the Canadian Art Foundation.

Barbara Fischer, project advisor, is the executive director/chief curator of the JMB Gallery and senior lecturer in curatorial studies at the University of Toronto. She was the commissioner for the Canada Pavilion at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, and has held curatorial positions in galleries and museums across Canada, including the Walter Phillips Gallery, Art Gallery of Ontario, and the Power Plant. She has curated solo exhibitions of major Canadian artists, as well as the internationally circulated exhibition General Idea: Editions, 1967–1995. Fischer is the recipient of the 2008 Hnatyshyn Award for Curatorial Excellence in Contemporary Art.

The mandate of the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery is to organize and present exhibitions of contemporary and historical Canadian, as well as exhibitions of international art. As part of its role within Hart House, the gallery's mandate is to engage broad and diverse audiences for all its programming, and to create year–round public access to contemporary art. The gallery also has a mandate to organize outreach education programs, including lectures, panel discussions, screenings, readings, and performance–based works consistent with exhibition and collecting mandates. The gallery was officially instituted in 1974, in response to a growing art collection that had been gathered since the early–twentieth century.