Esther Windsor

Cedric Christie
Kiss your own arse coz I’m not sorry any more

1000000mph Project Space
59 Old Bethnal Green Road, London e2 6qa

19 March – 23 April 2006
Friday – Sunday 12 – 6

Curated by Esther Windsor
Private View Sat. 18 March 6.30 – 9.30 pm

Cedric Christie is a sculptor, using scaffold poles, light bulbs, snooker balls, stencilled words, vomit, dictionary definitions, skills as a professional welder and strategies of mimicking conceptualism and minimalism. Allowing mass produced, manufactured materials and industrial colours to enter the discourse of ‘art’, evokes traditions of the sacred or unique, while alluding to baser conditions and contradictions.

Embracing his own background and absence of formal art training, Christie looks with a critical eye at the canon of art history. He has in fact inserted himself by exhibiting with some of the heavy weight names from contemporary art, that his work references. For example
included: Carl Andre, Walter de Maria, Frank Stella, Eva Hess, Agnes Martin, Tom Bell, Cy Twombly and Roman Opalka.

Colours in lines and bands are employed to articulate a relation between object and image. They become like words, traces or patterns in strategy or game. For example, pink snooker balls held in a steel cross stand for the emblematic body of the crucified Christ. While in a series entitled ‘Conflict’, snooker balls are assembled to make up different chess games. One is Israel V Palestine in the same coloured balls but engraved in Arabic and Hebrew, this game being called ‘the winner takes all’. In another work, used stencils of the words Democracy, Painting, Liberty hang as paper objects fluttering off the wall.

Words themselves are symbolic carriers in extreme, fetishised even in structures of acute analysis. Light bulbs are turned off to spell the word ‘on’, flashing on the wall. A 1953 Collins, dictionary definition of the word ‘Kiss’ is used, to describe two lips meeting but also the technical term, of two snooker balls touching. A set of rough packing cases, originally used to export brass portholes from India, are carefully stencilled with the words: ’abstraction’, ‘minimalism’, ‘pop art’, ‘conceptual’, ‘expressionism’. Loosely stacked, a scaled down, small box is balanced on top and stencilled with the word ‘ethnic’. It’s as though his work is playing with these definitions and labels of art history and inserting his own and an everyday existence into a formal and authority giving arrangement.

It is unmistakably masculine in references and echoes tropes and stereotypes of art history, with all its glory and omissions. Black and white photos of vomit carefully identified and researched as: ‘chemical’, from gym workouts and steroids, ‘drink’, from late night taxi pull overs, are arranged in a formalism of linear strips and grids. Small sections of steel scaffold, gently painted in pastel colours, sit quietly defunct in the corner while a black painted scaffold boldly straddles the wall. Previous work has included sections of framed doormats with directives and prohibitions hung in careful lines. No Blacks, No Americans, No Jews…. The materials and their arrangement contradict the self satisfied cannons of art history they carefully seek to mimic.

A symmetry of competing opposites are harmonised in a seemingly formal conceptualism but are also mimicry. ‘I could’ve done that’, is taken to its logical conclusion in recycling and stealing ideas from iconic artists like Carl Andre or Richard Serra. If not a trade mark, his style is a strategy of self inclusion in the history book and a self-conscious critic of it, at the same time.

Cedric Christie is currently showing at the NewArtCentre, Roche Court, Salisbury in Please close the gate, with: Phyllida Barlow, Helen Chadwick, Adam Chodzko, Rose Finn- Kelcey, Barbara Hepworth, Ellen Hyllemose, Bob and Roberta Smith, William Turnbull. Marc Vaux, Franz West and Keith Wilson. Previous shows include the Counting Colour, (April 2001) ½ full or ½ empty (August 2003) at Rocket Gallery, London.

List of works

Is this work for white people
Wood crates, labels on card

London snow (vomit photos)
6 x4” Silver gelatin black and white prints, mount board and white wood frame

Portrait of a hand
black and white print

multiple A2 photo copies of dictionary page
free poster

English light bulbs, black painted wood boxes, chains

A love that dare not speak its name
Pink Snooker balls and stainless steel

Liberty, democracy, painting
3” black painted brass stencils

Kiss your own arse coz I am not sorry anymore (title)
used 3” brass stencils