© Susan Philipsz and Das Giftraum

There’s Nothing Left Here
28.5 x 35 cm

Susan Phillipsz, born in Glasgow (1965) lives and works in Berlin. She exhibits widely and to much critical acclaim. In 2010 Philipsz won the Turner Prize (which was celebrated at Das Gift), in 2014 she received an OBE for services to British Art and in 2016 was Global Fine Art Award winner for War Damaged Musical Instruments at Tate Britain 2015. 

Artist Statement:
“My work deals with the spatial properties of sound and with the relationships between sound and architecture.  I am particularly interested in the emotive and psychological properties of sound and how it can be used as a device to alter individual consciousness. I have used sound as a medium in public spaces to trigger an awareness in the listener, to temporarily alter their perception of themselves in a particular place and time.”

This work was originally presented as part of a single-channel sound installation at Galerie Isabella Bortolozzi, (2006), Busan Biennale, (2006), CGAC, Santiago de Compostela, (2007). 

Exhibition Text:
Listening to music or singing to yourself can transport you out of the place you’re in. [...] The next image on the camera is of me and my sister Sarah sitting on the grass looking out towards Glencoe. The car door is open, and it looks like we just arrived. I presented these images alongside a recording of me singing PJ Harvey's Sweeter than Anything. The song evokes memories of a particular place in the summertime, where two people loved each other. The song then shifts us back to the present with the main refrain “How can this be? There’s nothing left here”. How can two people be so in love and then become so distant? [...]

Sweeter Than Anything, P.J. Harvey

In photographs
I've seen him laugh
Man overboard
Sun on his back

Summer was here
I remember it well
How he stood in the shade
How we both kissed and fell

How can this be?
There's nothing left here
How can this be?
There's nothing left here

Now he talks in his sleep
Says I've never known peace
And I don't know him now
He's a stranger to me

How can this be?
There's nothing left here
How can this be?
There's nothing left here

We were never more than a dream
Brief as summer or spring
Sweeter than anything