Kunstverein Braunschweig

Julia Phillips

Fake Truth

14 Sep - 17 Nov 2019

Installation view of Julia Phillips: Fake Truth at the Kunstverein Braunschweig. Photo by Stefan Stark.
Fake Truth
14 September – 17 November 2019

Curators: Jule Hillgärtner, Nele Kaczmarek

Julia Phillips’s artistic practice addresses complex subject-object relations and prevailing power relations within psychoanalytic, gender, and postcolonial discourses. Her work commences with her own body, which is used metaphorically for an investigation of intimate human relationships and macro-level social injustices. Based on lifecasting methods that date back to antiquity, fragile impressions of body fragments—muscles, shoulders, parts of the face—are created from ceramic. Together with the hollowed cavities these fragments come to define anonymous bodies within space. “I seek a physical language and mechanical metaphors to express non-physical, emotional relationships.” (Julia Phillips)

Julia Phillips’s newly commissioned installation Witness I-III draws on testimony as a (legal) practice of knowledge in which the description of individual sensual perception is more essential than ostensibly objective truths. Surrounded by a gravel landscape, visitors are confronted by sculptural characters who, apparently outlined by the backs of heads and flesh-colored lungs, have human proportions. Each character reacts to approaching visitors with its own voice and interpretation of what is taking place. Where earlier works by Julia Phillips have shown moving, dancing, and struggling bodies, here the movement of the visitors as performers comes to the fore. Individual behavior within space is registered and reenacted in the form of changing soundtracks, while the roles of and the relationship between witnesses and their testimonies remain uncertain.

After studying at the University of Fine Arts Hamburg and Columbia University in New York City, Julia Phillips (born 1985 in Hamburg, resident in Chicago and Berlin) had a solo exhibition at MoMA PS1, NYC in 2018. In the same year, her works were also shown at the New Museum Triennial, NYC and the 10th Berlin Biennale. Fake Truth is Julia Phillips’s first institutional solo exhibition in Germany.