The Hull-House Museum is presenting sound art by 2010 Turner Prize winner Susan Philipsz from March 1 through June 12, 2011.
ABOUT THE ART
Pledge is an audio piece dedicated to Karl Liebknecht and Rosa Luxemburg, the leaders of The Spartacus League, a left-wing Marxist revolutionary movement organized in Germany during World War I. Liebknecht and Luxemburg were murdered in Berlin in January 1919 after staging a failed uprising and revolution. Each recording in Philipsz’s piece is from a site associated with Rosa Luxemburg’s disappearance and murder. The Freidrichstrasse train station, The Hotel Adlon, where she was brought by guards and bludgeoned by the butt of a rifle while the guests looked on, the Neuersee, where her colleague Karl Leibknecht was shot and the Landwehrkanal where her body was thrown in to be found months later. The piece also tries to get at the experience of getting lost, being in a strange land, confronting language barriers, and seeing through the eyes of a foreigner.
Pledge will be installed in the Hull-House Museum’s historic Residents’ Dining Hall, where hundreds of reformers, utopians , anarchists, visionaries, artists, philosophers, and activists gathered to eat, debate one another, and imagine a more just and beautiful world. Philipsz’s haunting and beautiful piece is a perfect counterpart to the stories of the Hull-House reformers, and reminds us of the stories of those who came before us, who worked to create a more just world.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Susan Philipsz, the 45-year-old Glasgow-native, creates sound art to be exhibited in a gallery or a public space. Her pieces draw on history, literature, and popular and folk music. Her installations feature strategically placed audio speakers that transmit a cappella versions of songs sung by the artist, herself. Philipsz is the first sound artist to be awarded the Turner Prize.
ABOUT OUR PARTNERSHIP WITH THE MCA
Pledge is being exhibited as a complementary piece to two works being installed at the MCA from February 26 through June 12, 2011: We Shall Be All, and an earlier piece, The Internationale (1999). Philipsz groups the three pieces under the title, We Shall Be All, also the title of the newest piece which was commissioned by the MCA. We Shall Be All is a composition of several songs sung by the artist that, together, refer to the Haymarket Riots that took place in Chicago in 1886. The Internationale features a loop of the artist singing the socialist anthem of the same name, a song associated with political demonstrations.
* All views expressed are those of the guests and do not necessarily represent the views of, and should not be attributed to, the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum or the University of Illinois at Chicago, College of Architecture and the Arts.