May 2018, arsenal cinema

Catalogue Presentation: Deborah S. Phillips – Colours, Places, and Ornaments

UNTITLED COLOURMATION, 1992

Deborah S. Phillips is an artist who works with different analogue media. She began her artistic career by studying painting, before primarily working with analogue visual materials. From painting, she started making picture series and 16mm films. Thanks to the support of the Senate Department for Cultural Affairs’ Female Artists’ Program, she is able to present a comprehensive catalogue which offers insights into her diverse forms of artistic expression and the multimedia aspects of her work. Over two evenings, we will be examining Deborah S. Phillips’ oeuvre: colors, people, places, ornaments on Super 8, 16mm and 35mm and in the form of performances.

Her first 16mm films came about from ideas generated while helping colleagues with their own film projects, such as UNTITLED COLOURMATION. Shortly afterwards, she spent nearly a year animating bread with the support of members of an artists’ collective in Braunschweig (BREAD). During this period, she continued to do printing; at some point, it also seemed logical to print on film. BREAD and A PRINTED FILM then formed part of the Days of German Culture in Central Asia in the mid-90s. She began to supplement her silent films by creating sound for them in performances. Via discussions with people in the Muslim-majority and former Soviet countries of the region, she came up with the idea of creating a project in which Jewish and Islam ornaments and sounds would flow together, which was called MOSAïC. The engagement with genius loci and the people she came into contact with create their own dynamic here. In this way, she repeatedly made films that revolve around places and ornaments. More at deborahsp.wordpress.com (24. & 25.5.)