Susan Philipsz

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Susan Philipsz at Glasgow International 2010. Photo: Angela Catlin

Susan Philipsz (born 1965 in Glasgow) is a Scottish artist, she lives and works in Berlin. She trained as a sculptor, having received her BFA in sculpture from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art in 1993, and her MFA from the University of Ulster, Belfast, in 1994. Philipsz still considers herself a sculptor today, though her materials are time and space rather than marble or plaster. Her sole instrument is now the human voice. Philipsz made her first sound work in 1994, when she was in school in Belfast. Titled Safe, it was a rendition of a lullaby from the opera Hansel and Gretel, which she played down a chimney in a former retirement home. But Philipsz's breakthrough moment came in 2000, when she was invited to contribute a piece to the international exhibition Manifesta 3, in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She recorded a version of the old socialist anthem "The Internationale" and played it under a public walkway. She was a Director of Catalyst Arts in Belfast for several years. Philipsz is represented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, Ellen de Bruijne Projects in Amsterdam and Isabella Bortolozzi Galerie, Berlin.


  • Melbourne International Biennial, 1999,
  • Manifesta 3, Ljubljana, 2000,
  • Tirana Biennial, 2001,
  • Triennal of British Art, Tate Britain, 2003,
  • 16th Biennale of Sydney, 2008,
  • solo exhibition, Institute of Contemporary Arts, 2008,
  • 55th Carnegie International, 2009,
  • sound installation, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, 2011.


  • 2003, the Beck's Futures award (only nomination)
  • 2010, Turner Prize