Invited Artists

Pawel_Althamer | Michael_Asher | Nairy_Baghramian | Guy_Ben-Ner | Guillaume_Bijl | Martin_Boyce | Jeremy Deller | Michael_Elmgreen und Ingar_Dragset | Hans-Peter_Feldmann | Dora_Garcia | Isa_Genzken | Dominique_Gonzalez-Foerster | Tue_Greenfort | David_Hammons | Valérie_Jouve | Mike_Kelley | Suchan Kinoshita | Marko_Lehanka | Gustav_Metzger | Eva_Meyer und Eran_Schaerf | Deimantas_Narkevicius | Bruce_Nauman | Maria_Pask | Manfred_Pernice | Susan_Philipsz | Martha_Rosler | Thomas_Schütte | Andreas_Siekmann | Rosemarie_Trockel | Silke_Wagner | Mark_Wallinger | Clemens von Wedemeyer | Annette_Wehrmann | Pae_White


archiv_77/87/97/07 | switch+ | Visual_concept



Susan Philipsz

*1965 in Glasgow, lives and works in Belfast and Berlin

Project: The Lost Reflection (Das verlorene Spiegelbild)

An aria sounding from under the Torminbrücke at Lake Aa: Susan Philipsz sings “Lovely night, oh night of love, smile upon our joys!”, the barcarole from Jaques Offenbach’s The Tales of Hoffmann. The score is based on The Story of the Lost Reflection by the German romantic writer E.T.A. Hoffmann. It is the story of the seductive yet unfortunately vicious charm of the courtesan Giulietta, whose spell men cannot resist, thereby losing their own reflection, so that neither their wives nor their children are able to recognize them.

The story is set in Venice, and when Susan Philipsz’s amplified voice resounds across Lake Aa and back again, the lagoon city with its many canals. The human voice is unable to change the space it fills, but it completely alters our experience of that space. Standing under the Torminbrücke at Lake Aa, we are swept away to the balcony of a palace on the Canale Grande as we listen to Giulietta and Niklaus intone: “Time flies by, and carries away our tender caresses for ever! Time flies far from this happy oasis and does not return.” Susan Philipsz sings both voices recorded on two separate tracks, and it almost seems as if the voices were calling to each other across the lake and back joining only to lose each other once more. The singer, too, has vanished – only her voice is lingering.


Susan Philipsz's audio projects refer directly or indirectly to the location of their installations. The artist has been represented in international exhibitions for several years. She includes musical, literary, and historical patterns in her songs and sounds, provoking memories and feelings in the listener, who, from the personal intimacy becomes conscious of the external world. Susan Philipsz' video installations also focus on the relationships between persons and their environments. In her silent film 'Returning' (2004) the artist shows people, who pause in front of a monument, and for a moment, leave their daily routine. Philipsz seeks neither to remove the spectator from the surroundings, nor to change them. She wants the person not only to become aware of the location but also of his/her relationship to this location.

close | top