Records by Turner Prize Winner Susan Philipsz.

In my last post I started researching record cover art by winners of the prestigious Turner Prize awarded annually by the Tate Gallery to an artist under the age of 50 for an exhibition. Susan Philipsz won the prize in 2010. When I started writing the previous post, I had no idea that I would have the chance to meet one of the Turner Prize winners so soon.

Philipsz (born 1965 in Glasgow, Scotland) began her artistic career as a sculptor. She was fascinated by sound and moved on to sound installations. in 2001 she recorded an a capella version of David Bowie‘s “Ziggy Stardust” album at Stockholm’s Bonnier konsthall. The recording was released on a limited edition (500 copies) Digipak CD in 2004.

Philipsz had an exhibition at the Gallician Centre of Contemporary Art (CGAC) in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, in 2008, called “There Is Nothing Left Here“. There was a book published by the CGAC together with an LP which features sound from the exhibition in a cover showing Philipsz and one of her sisters sitting looking out over a mountain.

philipsz-nothing-lp
Susan Philipsz’ “There Is Nothing Left Here” 2008 LP.

In 2005, Malmö konsthall allowed Philipsz to use their exhibition space for an installation entitled “Stay With Me“. The hardcover exhibition catalogue also contained a CD of the sound installation.

Susan Philipsz has again been chosen to be Bonnier konsthalls artist in residence for the first part of 2017. This time she presents a four-work exhibition called “Lost in Space“. The main work is a 23 minute film of violinist Leila Akhmetova playing a single note from the opening of Karl-Birger Blomdahl‘s opera “Aniara“. Philipsz deconstructed the music and required Akhmetova to only play each note of C. Philipsz filmed the process with a camera constantly circling Akhmetova catching her concentration on following the score while a computer screen beside indicates how the performance is progressing. Apart from a 24-page catalogue, Philipsz has produced a limited edition picture disc LP (300 copies) in a box set with a 300 page book.

lost-in-space-lp-display
The picture disc LP and book of Susan Philipsz’ “Lost in Space” installation.

At the opening of the “Lost in Space” exhibition, Susan Philipsz introduced the works in a 45.minute talk during which she explained her methods and showed films of various projects she has been involved in, including her Tate Britain installation of tones produced from wind instruments damaged in various wars from the Battle of Waterloo, The Crimea and WWI. After the talk I had the opportunity to talk with her and get the “Ziggy Stardust” CD and “Stay With Me” book signed.

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5 thoughts on “Records by Turner Prize Winner Susan Philipsz.”

  1. Richard, this is awesome. I had never heard of Susan Philipsz before your posts, but now I have watched some interviews on YouTube, and some of her sound installations. She is brilliant, really. This night I have ordered a copy of the Ziggy Stardust cd, being a huge Bowie fan. Very curious about her rendition.
    Keep on posting!

      1. Apparently Susan originally sang it here at the Bonnier Konsthall, here in Stockholm, in 2001. The CD was released in 2004, but I haven’t been able to find out if the CD is a rerecording or from the original exhibition. I have ordered her other albums too. Her latest, the box set, will arrive later this month.

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