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Failure Detection: Julia Phillips's first solo museum exhibition on view at MoMA PS1
Julia Phillips. Extruder (#1). 2017. Partially glazed ceramics, screws, metal structure, metal pipes, concrete tiles, lacquer. Image courtesy the artist.


LONG ISLAND CITY, NY.- MoMA PS1 is presenting the first solo museum exhibition of New York-based artist Julia Phillips (German and American, b. 1985), featuring six newly commissioned major works alongside existing sculptures, on view from April 15 to September 3, 2018. Primarily working with ceramics, Phillips creates objects and scenes that are intimately connected to the body. Her sculptures mostly avoid direct figuration, instead proposing various support structures for the body and emphasizing its absence. Impressions of the human form are visible through casts of orifices, handprints, and other corporeal traces. While suggestive of particular functions and purposes that are overtly physical, these works also produce social and psychological resonances. For Phillips, the body is entangled in both the real and abstract spaces of politics, made evident through indications given in her arrangements as well as the works’ titles, which are often directives for specific actions.

The exhibition’s title provides a narrative framework within which Phillips’s works can be seen as tools for identifying, removing, penetrating, and preventing perceived glitches. A newly produced work, Drainer (2018), suggests a process in which matter could be extracted from a suspended ceramic cast of an abdomen and passed through a drain below. As in her other works, Phillips reveals the body in fragments, mapping internal functions to spatial configurations through partial body casts and support structures. In addition to Drainer, the exhibition includes four new sculptures, a series of ink prints, and a recently completed video. In each work, the body is a vessel for moving through psychological and social spaces.

Julia Phillips (b. 1985, Hamburg, Germany) lives and works in New York City. She has been included in group exhibitions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York; The Kitchen, New York; and Kunsthaus, Hamburg. Phillips is currently featured in the New Museum’s 2018 Triennial, Songs for Sabotage.

Julia Phillips: Failure Detection is organized by Ruba Katrib, Curator, MoMA PS1, with Josephine Graf, Curatorial Assistant, MoMA PS1.







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