Installation view of TRUE TO SIZE, 2016
The language mobilized by physical and digital objects that populate the imagery of contemporary consumerist society is the main raw material in Heather Phillipson’s installations and videos. Images of online advertising, plush toys, and emojis used in virtual messaging apps appear in the spaces the artist creates through collages, collisions, superimpositions, and unexpected associations. The installations reveal the artist is driven by an investigation of the ways that the subjective articulation of emotions, affections, and desires is constructed and manipulated within this heterogeneous set of cultural references. Phillipson also works as a writer and a poet, often presenting readings of text in her videos, juxtaposed with soundtracks constructed according to the same fragmentary logic. TRUE TO SIZE (2015-2016) consists of videos and audio recordings produced in this way, combined with life-size sculptures. It is a suite of scenes that deals with devastation – extreme weather, extreme hygiene, virtual sex, over-communication, warfare, imminent extinction, afterlife, floods and, in its broadest sense, consumption and desire. Due to the scale of the objects and images, they momentarily escape the banality with which they are consumed on a daily basis.