Susan Philipsz is another interesting artist in our visiting artist talks because her practice revolved around the human voice and sound, rather than visual practice. The majority of our visiting artists have a visual practice which I like because it relates more to my own work, but I love the diversity of having dancers, performers, singers, and writers in the guest list as well.

Her practice is progressive already for being based on sound, and using her own voice which is untrained and imperfect and breaking the boundaries of audio art. It is also groundbreaking on an academic scale as she won the prestigious Turner Prize in 2010 for her piece Lowlands, on a ballad from the 16th century for the Glasgow International Festival, and this was the first time a sound piece had been nominated.

Something else about her practice is the range of songs that she works with, from the historically interesting Lowlands piece to works by David Bowie and Nirvana who are huge in contemporary culture. Her work is rooted in emotions associated with sound, and this range of source material reflects the range of emotions and histories and context surrounding each piece. Her installation War Damaged Musical Instruments was recently exhibited at the Tate gallery, with was an evocative piece making use of musical instruments from the war to examine its destruction, loss, and intimacy. Her work is innately intimate and shows a unique approach to subjects and events that people have long tried to document and preserve.

Advertisements