Susan Philipsz’s sound work Lowlands was presented during Manif d'art 9 - The Quebec City Biennial. It is part of Small between the Stars, Large against the Sky*, a series of interconnected exhibits programmed by international curator Jonathan Watkins.
Susan Philipsz’s sound work blends together three version of a folklore song entitled “Lowlands away”, a traditional Scottish song from the 16th century. The ballad that sometimes tells the tale of a drowning man, sometimes the tale of a ghost returning to his beloved, remains in every version a lament about death and grieving. The sound work echoes the past of its location: an Old Quebec patrimonial site that has witnessed a history that is its own, yet universal.
Susan Philipsz, universal resonance
Susan Philipsz was born in 1965 in Glasgow, Scotland. She holds a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from the Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art (1993) and a master’s degree in fine arts from the University of Ulster (1994). She has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, at the Tate Britain (London), at the MoMA PS1 (New York) and at Documenta 13 (Cassel). In 2010, she received the Turner Prize. Her works are part of collections at the Carnegie Museum of Art (Pittsburgh), the Castello di Rivoli and the Joan Miró Foundation. She lives in Berlin and is represented by the Tanya Bonakdar Gallery (New York).
Manif d’art, in short
A major contemporary art biennial on the Canadian scene, Manif d’art 9 – the Québec city biennial is presenting the work of over 100 artists of all backgrounds, from February 16 through April 21, 2019. In addition to the exhibits, the event offers a wide array of activities around the theme Small between the Stars, Large against the Sky defined by international curator Jonathan Watkins. More than thirty cultural organizations make this international festival a not-to-be-missed experience for the uninitiated as well as the specialists. www.manifdart.org
The Artillery Park, in short
The Artillery Park, with its major architectural heritage, is a reminder of over two centuries and a half of history. On its well-known strategic location, military engineers have erected various defensive works from the end of the 17th century. It then gradually tuned into an area of barracks by the mid-18th century. French and British soldiers lived there before the area became industrial in 1879. At that time, the Canadian government transformed the abandoned barracks into munitions factory of the Canadian Army. During both world wars, the Dominion Arsenal played a major role in the war effort in Canada. Thousands of Quebecois worked there. www.pc.gc.ca/fr/lhn-nhs/qc/fortifications
* STORY OF THE STREET’ BY LEONARD COHEN. COPYRIGHT © 1993, LEONARD COHEN, USED BY PERMISSION OF THE WYLIE AGENCY (UK) LIMITED
Photos by Charles-Frédérick Ouellet