Spring 2013 Talks: Susan Philipsz

About the Talk

Berlin-based artist Susan Philipsz (b. Glasgow, UK, 1965) is best known for her ethereal sound installations featuring songs ranging from folk ballads to pop music, often sung a cappella in the artist’s own voice. Her site-specific works combine references to history, literature, and popular and folk music to create visual, aural and emotive landscapes. Mediating public spaces with sound that streams from strategically placed speakers, her audio installations layer seemingly non-descript sites such as a train station, or parking lot, with the intimacy of the human voice. On the occasion of her recent exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Philipsz stated: “against the backdrop of the modernist architecture of the city I see the voice as a means to infiltrate spaces, like a ghost in the machine, and return experience to a human scale.”

Philipsz’s work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions including solo presentations the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (2011); IHME Project, Pro Arte Foundation, Helsinki (2010); Glasgow International Festival, Glasgow (2010); Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2008); and Art Statements Basel/Art Basel, Basel (2007). Her work has also been included significant international group presentations as : dOCUMENTA 13, Kassel (2012); Edinburgh Art Festival, Edinburgh (2012); Palazzo Reale, New Commission for the City of Milan, Italy (2012); The Turner Prize exhibition, Tate, Britain (2010); The 29th Biennale de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (2010); The Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh (2008); Revolutions- Forms That Turn, Sydney Biennale, Sydney (2008); Skulptur Projekte Münster 07, Münster (2007); Of Mice and Men, and the 4th Berlin Biennale, Berlin (2006), among others. In 2010, she won the Turner prize—making her the first sound artist to be nominated and the first win. Philipsz has been commissioned for a permanent installation for Governor’s Island in New York City, titled Day is Done, and will be the first work in an ongoing public art program opening with the new park and public spaces in 2013. She is represented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York.

Public Art Fund Talks at The New School are organized by the Public Art Fund in collaboration with the Vera List Center for Art and Politics at The New School.

This program is made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature.

Image: Susan Philipsz, Study for Strings, dOCUMENTA 13
Courtesy the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery



The New School

John Tishman Auditorium at The New School, 66 W 12th St

Get Directions