Public Art Fund Talks at The New School: Susan Philipsz

6:30 p.m.


This spring, Public Art Fund presents a series of talks by three distinctive artists whose work stretches the boundaries of objects and spaces in the public realm. Whether through the manipulation of a form’s scale in response to a specific context or the permeability of concepts, ideas, and emotions, each of the artists showcased in this series explores art’s ability to alter our experience of public space and the nature of sculpture itself.  

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 nondescript 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 work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions, including solo presentations at the Vienna Secession, (2012); 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 such 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); and The Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum, Pittsburgh (2008), 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.

Image: Susan Philipsz, Study for Strings, 2012, installation view, dOCUMENTA 13.



Tishman Auditorium, Alvin Johnson/J. M. Kaplan Hall, 66 West 12th Street

$10; free to all students and New School faculty, staff, and alumni with ID at the door or at the Box Office.

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