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Susan Philipsz in "Berlin"Preview

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.”

“Berlin” from Season 9 of Art in the Twenty-First Century premiered September 21, 2018 on PBS. Watch the full episode and artist segment.

More information

Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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Susan Philipsz

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.

“It’s clear to see that these instruments could never play music anymore. It was really more about the breath. I became interested in breath being a metaphor for life.”

Susan Philipsz