Condo 2016

A.L. Steiner & Phoebe Collings-James

17 January – 13 February 2016

For Condo A.L. Steiner and Phoebe Collings-James, Arcadia Missa and Deborah Schamoni, will be presenting together new series of works within a one-room installation. Both artists create disparate narratives through the loose autobiographical storytelling that informs their research and practice. Steiner much more directly uses photography to string together sets of relations and moments, whereas Collings-James has been thinking about the terms ‘Can I Live?’ and ‘Just Enough Violence For The Whole Family’ that have come into her life through recent personal situations whilst making new work.

Where Steiner uses a camera lens to not only present the self but also generate conversations around visibility, Collings-James has been using painting (and specifically the painting of animals, the insertion of language) to attend to the representation of gendered and racialised bodies, without the direct documentation or representation of these bodies. At the occasion of Condo, hosted by Arcadia Missa gallery, Steiner will present a site-specific installation entitled “Greatest Hits”.

Collings-James is a London born artist who has recently spent periods of time in the US (where she encountered the phrase ‘Can I Live?’), Steiner’s (US based) new video pieces for this exhibition are a nod or a throwback to her days spent in the UK. This is not a collaboration, but the two galleries have an ongoing friendship and are excited for this duo exhibition to develop further through the exchange that unfolds during the installation period and the collation of two series of different work, work that yet still crosses over in unlikely ways.

Phoebe Collings-James’ work explores societal structures that govern or oppress the body including violence, sexuality and desire. She works in a variety of mediums including painting, sculpture and video. She graduated with a BA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths in 2009. New York/Los Angeles-based artist A.L. Steiner utilizes constructions of photography, video, installation, collage, collaboration, performance, writing, teaching and curatorial work as seductive tropes channeled through the sensibility of a skeptical queer ecofeminist androgyne. She’s a collective member of Chicks on Speed, co-curator of the project Ridykeulous, cofounder/organizer of Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), and collaborates with numerous visual and performing artists. Her work has been featured internationally in such venues as PS1/MoMA, Tate Modern, The New Museum and Reina Sofia, and resides in permanent collections such as The Brooklyn Museum of Art, Marieluise Hessel Collection, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art and The Museum of Modern Art. Steiner is Graduate MFA Faculty in Photography at Bard College in New York.

At CONDO Filmprogramm, Sunday 17th January

Hannah Quinlan & Rosie Hastings
@Gaybar video works, 2015-16

UK Premiere by: Jonathan Penca


Citing the audiovisual language of classic animation/animated films the video collages aspects from the biography of Germany’s first female paleontologist Tilly Edinger (1897 – 1967) centering around her 1921 doctoral dissertation On Nothosaurus. In it Edinger examined the fossilized brain of the marine reptile Nothosaurus mirabilis (the „wondrous bastard-lizard“ found in Bayreuth) by comparing it with the brain of the modern American Alligator. As she later on admitted herself, the paper contained several misconclusions – it nevertheless made her the pioneering figure in in the field of paleoneurology in which she made groundbreaking work for the rest of her life. Eventually forced to leave the Senckenberg natural history museum Frankfurt by the Nazi Regime, Edinger’s good scientific contacts enabled her to emigrate to the USA in 1939 where she found a new home at the Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge. One way or another, the fossil vertebraes will save my life“T.E. At the age of 70 Edinger died of head injuries caused by a car accident on the way to the museum; it is believed she hadn’t turned on her hearing aid as she often did to better concentrate.

Jonathan Penca studied fine arts at Städelschule Frankfurt in the class of Judith Hopf form 2009 until 2015 working with drawing, sculpture, video and performance and is often part of collaborative projects. In his graduation piece the artist continues his interest in the subjective experience of nature and its forms of representation in the arts, science and pop-culture and examines the stages of artistic production from excitement to crisis until the trivial conclusion. The title of the resulting video THIS IS TILLY STUFF THAT IS CONFUSING AND/OR SEEMINGLY USELESS (BUT I DIDN’T DARE DISPOSE OF IT) is taken from one of the many archive-boxes containing Edinger’s estate Penca came across during his research in the Museum of Comparative Zoology in Cambridge.

Tilly Edinger had a struggle finishing her doctoral dissertation On Nothosaurus. To encourage her the befriended literature scholar Friedrich Gundolf dedicated Edinger a poem from the perspective of her object of study, praising „the Ty“ for bringing it back to life.