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Susan Philipsz at Tanya Bonakdar
July 15, 2020 - September 19, 2020
At Tanya Bonakdar in Hollywood, eerie lullabies emanate out of steel barrels. Part of Susan Philipsz’s solo exhibition, “Sleep Close and Fast,” this sound installation includes recordings of Philipsz hauntingly singing tunes from thrillers such as “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Hansel and Gretel,” and “The Wicker Man.”
The vocals sound vaguely familiar, yet simultaneously hard to place, instilling a sense of unease. Elsewhere, steel organ pipes play recordings of the artist breathing through the instruments, similar to the lullabies echoing out of steel vessels. This work involves a sense of disembodied absence.
In an interview with VernissageTV, Philipsz explains, “I became really interested in the sculptural aspects of sound and how it could define architecture, [and] what happens when you project your voice out into space.” Perhaps more important, Philipsz’s sound works affect the viewer on a deep and personal level, drumming up rooted memories hidden within our subconscious. She explains that she works with “the psychological aspects of sound… how it can be a trigger for memory, how it can heighten your sense of yourself while making you aware of the place you’re in.”