“Screens Series: Heather Phillipson” continues the New Museum’s Screens Series, a platform for the presentation of new video works by emerging contemporary artists. In Phillipson’s carnivalesque videos, a collision of language, sound, and images assimilates the physical spaces in which we live and the digital realms we inhabit. Slippery narratives contort through fluctuating perspectives and modes of address, as well as through images and sounds from a dizzying range of sources—unique audio and video recordings are cut and layered with voiceovers, popular music, manufactured sound effects, assorted emojis, digital animations, and stock photography and video.
Like several of Phillipson’s videos, TRUE TO SIZE (2016) contrasts two incontrovertible aspects of human experience—sex and death—with material and physical desires driven by a culture of advertising that promises infinite opportunities for pleasure and self-perfection. With its title, 100% OTHER FIBRES (2016) similarly summons the language of product marketing; its central character is a dog who registers as a steadfast human ally, but also represents a crude index of human consumption, greed, and indiscretion. FINAL DAYS (2015) highlights the aesthetics of superabundance found in retail store displays, teasing out the erotics of advertising images and the zealousness of marketing strategies while foregrounding the relationship between physical touch and desire. Throughout each of these videos, Phillipson’s prose invites us into the mind of a dexterous and persuasive narrator whose deadpan observations trace the syntax of ideas and images that populate our everyday multimedia landscapes.
Heather Phillipson (b. 1978, London) is an artist and poet based in London. Her videos and installations have been shown in solo exhibitions at Whitechapel Gallery, London (2016); Frieze Projects, New York (2016); Schirn Kunsthalle, Frankfurt (2015); and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Newcastle (2013). Her work has been exhibited as part of the 32nd Sao Paulo Biennial (2016); the 14th Istanbul Biennial (2015); Performa 15 (2015); the Zabludowicz Collection, London (2015); and the Biennial of Moving Images, Geneva (2014), among others. Phillipson has recently performed and given readings at the Serpentine Gallery, London (2015 and 2014); Tate Britain (2014); ICA London (2014); and Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2014).
She has published three collections of poetry: Instant-flex 718 (Bloodaxe, 2013), NOT AN ESSAY (Penned in the Margins, 2012), and a Faber New Poets pamphlet (Faber and Faber, 2009). In 2014 she was named a Next Generation Poet by the Poetry Book Society, and in 2015 she was Writer in Residence at Whitechapel Gallery.
“Screen Series: Heather Phillipson” is organized by Natalie Bell, Assistant Curator.