New York City, NY
“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. 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).
Credit: Exhibition overview from museum website.