Susan Philipsz introduces the ideas behind her “War Damaged Musical Instruments” sound-based project in this preview of the upcoming “Berlin” episode from Season 9 of the “Art in the Twenty-First Century” television series.
Shown recording a musician playing a bullet-pierced 19th-century bugle, Philipsz notes the fragility of the sound produced when blowing wind through the instrument. “It was really more about the breath,” says the artist. “I became interested in breath being a metaphor for life.”
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Susan Philipsz was born in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1965. Philipsz’s work explores the psychological and sculptural dimensions of sound, with recordings of her voice and a variety of reworked musical compositions. Interested in the power of sound to trigger emotion, Philipsz responds to the architecture and history of the spaces in which her pieces are installed; her works prompt introspection and an examination of personal and collective memories, losses, and yearnings.
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Season 9 of “Art in the Twenty-First Century” premieres September 21 at 9:00 p.m. on PBS. “Berlin” airs September 21 at 10:00 p.m.
Learn more about the new season at: