Opening: Friday, December 9, 2016, 8:00 p.m.
The Scottish artist Susan Philipsz (*1965, lives and works in Berlin), recipient of the Turner Prize in 2010, has made an international name for herself in recent years with her spectacular sound installations. For two decades now, the Glasgow-born artist has devoted herself to the rearrangement and interpretation of musical sources against the backdrop of site-specific conditions.
The focus of her interest is the exploration of the sculptural properties of sound and its emotional and physical impact. The point of departure are the respective features of those public or institutional spaces in which she situates her works—the prevailing atmosphere, their history, or their architectural and acoustic conditions. Her sound sculptures expose the hidden and the overlooked and allow attentive listeners to take an intense look at the spatial-temporal and context-related conditions of the respective venue.
In numerous older works, Philipsz used her voice as an instrument and appropriated familiar musical sequences—from old folk songs to famous pop songs. At the same time, the trained sculptor works with acoustic material such as field recordings, radio signals, or instrumental compositions. Thus based on the deconstruction and rearrangement of sound, her installations “Study for Strings” (2012) at the last documenta, “Part File Score” (2014) at the Hamburger Bahnhof, or “Night and Fog” (2016) at the Kunsthaus Bregenz give prominence to existential themes such as impermanence, absence, memory, and loss.