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New Works: 03.1
March 13 ?y 11, 2003
Brian Fridge Fort Worth, Texas
Paul Pfeiffer New York, New York
Susan Philipsz Belfast, Northern Ireland
About the Artist
Susan Philipsz manipulates the perceptions of space and the meta-messages of sound
with particular attention to the human voice. In previous work, Philipsz has used national
anthems, pop songs, and even the sounds of bell towers in Cork, Ireland to draw the
viewer/listener into an awareness of their own presumptions. In her Combs of the
Sea, a love song projected from a spectacular sea vista re-shaped by sculptor
Eduardo Chillida, her work interrupted the viewers' sense of place, inviting them to reflect
on an inner experience.
Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Susan Philipsz studied Fine Art at Duncan of
Jordanstone, Dundee, Scotland and completed a Masters in Fine Art in Belfast, Ireland.
Philipsz has participated in Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, Slovenia and The International Studio
Arts Program at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, NY. In 2001 Philipsz
was short listed for the Glen Dimplex Artist Awards Exhibition at the Irish Museum of
Modern Art, Dublin, Ireland. She has recently been chosen to participate in the Triennial
of British Art, Tate Britain, London, England. The artist lives and works in Belfast,
About the Project
Susan Philipsz deals with the spatial properties of sound and the relationships
between sound and architecture. Interested in the emotive and psychological properties
of song and how they can alter individual consciousness, the artist utilizes public address
systems in various spaces to interject through the ambient noises of the everyday.
Philipsz's unselfconscious melodies trigger awareness in the listener, temporarily altering
their perception of them-selves in a particular place and time. Exploring the line between
private memories and the communal experience of song, Philipsz's works evoke both
nostalgia and a sense of dislocation. She employs her disembodied voice in uncon-
ventional settings, ultimately intensifying the listeners' sense of self and connecting them
to their environment.
During her ArtPace residency, Philipsz has produced a number of projects, including
a solar-powered sound system and a live performance at the Quarry Market in San
Antonio. Intended for an audience of passers by, her sound interven-tions touch on
themes of longing, escape, and sympathy. For Public Address the artist selects
popular melancholic songs that might be sung while alone, like Hank Williams' I'm So
Lonesome I Could Cry and Radiohead's Airbag?ing unsuspecting
shoppers feel as if they are overhearing something private or personal. In the gallery
space, the artist's live a cappella performance is played back.
For Sunset Song, Philipsz has recorded herself performing Banks of the
Ohio, an American folk song about a murder. As with many songs, its haunting lyrics
have evolved over time. Philipsz sings two versions? from the female perspective
and the other from the male point of view?ch sound from separate horn speakers in
the style of a call and response duet. The speakers are fitted with large solar panels that
gather energy to power the recording and control its volume. The oversized devices,
sited on ArtPace's roof terrace, have a commanding sculptural presence, and their
sounds extend well beyond the building to the streets below. As the volume is guided by
the intensity of the sun, Philipsz's song ricochets off neighboring buildings during the
afternoon peak and gradually fades away at sunset. Her title refers to a composition
describing a lifestyle that has since passed away. Philipsz reiterates this theme of loss
not only through the song's melancholic lyrics, but also through the actual passage of
In Guadalupe, a piece developed at San Antonio's Greyhound Bus Station,
Philipsz draws attention to the sound and feel of a downtown bus station. By combining
recorded ambient sounds with bits of melody from a lone country singer/harmonica
player, as well as a boarding call for a kind of mythical place, Philipsz recreates the
familiar and nostalgic atmospheric sounds of a timeless urban locale.
March 13 ?y 11, 2003
Thursday, March 13, 2003, 6:30-8:30 PM
Friday, March 14, 6:30-8:00 PM
Featuring Brian Fridge, Paul Pfeiffer, and Susan Philipsz. Moderated by Carolyn Christov-
Bakargiev, Chief Curator, Castello di Rivoli, Turin, Italy.
Brown Bag Lunch
Wednesday, April 9, 2003, 12:00-1:00 PM
Join us for a tour of New Works: 03.1 and a brown bag lunch provided by Pecan
Street Deli. Please call ArtPace to make reservations.
All events held at ArtPace, 445 N. Main Avenue. Free parking at Flores Street and
Savings. ArtPace is open to the public Wednesday thru Sunday, 12-5 PM, Thursday until
8 PM and by appointment. There is no charge for admission.
445 North Main Avenue San Antonio TX 78205 t 210 212 4900 f 210 212 4990 www.artpace.org
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