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Susan Philipsz

Appear to Me

10 march, 2009 - 29 april, 2009 /
Santo Domingo de Silos Abbey (Burgos)

Susan Philipsz (Glasgow, United Kingdom, 1965) creates atmosphere using sound, with which she proves her inherent ability to define the architecture. Her creations, conceived as musical developments created expressly for empty spaces, make up a different piece for each spectator, upon establishing different relationships between it and the architectural space that surrounds it. Philipsz defines her creations from memory, references and emotions that sound cannot produce and with them she invites reflection, introspection and silence.

The title of the exhibition Hazte ver / Appear to Me corresponds to a song whose melody belongs to the Gregorian chant "Salve Regina" (Hail Holy Queen) recorded in the voice of the artist herself. The lyrics refer instead to another song titled 'M'appari' (Appear to me), a starting point for the work that is found in the recording that the artist made from the Gregorian chants of the monks during her first visit to the Monastery of Silos, an emblematic place for this type of song. The different rising evolutions of the Gregorian melody evoke for Philipsz the serene flight of vultures that the artist crossed on her way to the monastery, as well as the birds that inhabit the famous cloister cypress and the many winged animals and monsters that are represented in the Romanesque reliefs.

The spatial values inherent to sound enliven the room and transform it into a different place. The emotional and psychological effects of song fuse with a darkened environment. Through the reverberation of space and use of songs and familiar sounds, the artist offers a rich evocative, visual metaphor which, connected with the religious chorus, provokes representations in the mind of the spectator. Integrated into this removed setting, a place dedicated to inner life, meditation and reflection, Philipsz's work provokes emotion in the viewer, inviting them to explore and reflect on the search for meaning and self-consciousness regarding their surroundings.

Exhibition´s details

Organized by: 
Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía
Curatorship: 
Lyne Cooke

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