Julia Phillips – Fake Truth and Shannon Bool – House of Oblivion

From September 9th until November 17th, 2019 the Kunstverein Braunschweig presented works by the artists Shannon Bool and Julia Phillips. Both artists are characterized by their diverse working methods and their questioning of habits.


Shannon Bool – House of Oblivion

Shannon Bool's artwork focuses on perception, which is linked with a precise approach to sociological, art historical and spatial themes. Through the combination of various art forms, she shows a wide range of artistic and craft skills that create interesting and detailed works.

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Shannon Bool, Installation view at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2019, Photo: Stefan Stark


In the exhibition House of Oblivion at the Kunstverein, some of her multifaceted projects that deal primarily with the subconscious were presented. Among others, she works with references to works by Carlo Mollino, Mies van der Rohe and Le Corbusier. Her goal is to critically examine familiar perspectives and current cultural events. Bool allows visitors to recognize something familiar in her works, but irritates them at the same time. Particularly her versatile and combined practices create amazement and fascination. For example, her photograms show urban designs by Le Corbusier that complement the proportions of lightly dressed woman`s bodies and naturally overlap their curves.

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Shannon Bool, "Entrata Reale", 2019, Photo: Stefan Stark  

Her work Entrata Reale, on the other hand, is a distorted replica of the design floor of reality TV star Kris Jenner. Although the installation does not immediately remind one of the Kardashian clan and their regular Instagram posts, the work is well-made. Even at first glance it causes irritation and makes you engage with and question the work.


Shannon Bool studied at the Städelschule University of Fine Arts in Frankfurt and currently lives in Berlin. Her works can be found, for example, in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum, New York and the MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt. With House of Oblivion in Braunschweig, she showed her diverse and meaningful works, which clearly presented Bool's passion for details and craftsmanship. During the tour of the exhibition, her versatile working methods were particularly accentuated, which created surprise and fascination upon entering each new room.

Julia Phillips, "Witness I", 2019,  Glasierte Keramik, Kabel, Nierenmikrofone, Kontaktmikrofone, Lautsprecher, Kies,  Foto: Stefan Stark
Julia Phillips, "Witness I", 2019, glazed
ceramics, cables, cardioid microphones,
contact microphones, speakers, gravel,
Photo: Stefan Stark


Julia Phillips – Fake Truth

Julia Phillips works with psychoanalysis, gender and postcolonial debates and the human body serves as the subject of interpersonal and social analysis. Thus, she forms fine body parts out of ceramics, which are then placed in relation to each other. For her exhibition Fake Truth in the Remise of the Kunstverein, she also created a successful sculptural work made from ceramics.

The installation Witness I - III was produced especially for the exhibition at the Kunstverein and showed three plastic creatures, each consisting of a ceramic occiput and lungs. Visitors were able to enter a room that was covered with gravel and could see three anonymous beings that seemed to be floating in the room.

While at first one might have been somewhat hesitant to move closer, the installation only worked if one took a courageous step towards the beings. Visitors could then noisily walk over the gravel and explore the sculptures. Each time a visitor moved around, the sculptures responded with sounds, resembling breathing which was mixed with the noises of the steps on the gravel. If the visitor remained still, the sculpture rested and silence reigned in the room. Through the formed body parts and the visitors with their individual movements, an interesting interplay arose, which fascinated and achieved its desired effect. The visitors felt the desire to move and to hear an echo from the sculptures as well as to stop and look at the creatures. It was a pity that the exhibition of Phillips consisted of only one room and that more works from the artist were not shown.


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Julia Phillips, "Fake Truth", Installation view at the Kunstverein Braunschweig, 2019, Photo:Stefan Stark


Julia Phillips was born in Hamburg and currently lives in Chicago and Berlin. After studying at the University of Fine Art in Hamburg and Columbia University in New York City, she had a solo exhibition at MoMA PS1. She has also been shown at the New Museum Triennial, NC and the 10th Berlin Biennale. Fake Truth was her first institutional solo exhibition in Germany, which provided a good insight into the artist's creative work.


Author: Julia Bros

Julia Bros is studying art and media science and is currently working on her bachelor thesis. She has gained practical experience in the field of exhibition organization as well as public relations and mediation work. She completed, among others, an internship at the Museum for Photography Braunschweig and at the Braunschweig Art Association and has been writing articles for the Salzgitter Zeitung as a freelance journalist.


Cover picture: Shannon Bool, Farnsworth Sampler, 2019, Photo: Stefan Stark




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