Art opening: Susan Philipsz: Sunset Song

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Critic's Pick Release Date: 2011-05-04

As an Artpace resident in 2003, Berlin-based Scottish artist (and Turner Prize-winner) Susan Philipsz created Sunset Song, a sound-based installation that uses the 19th-century murder ballad “Banks of the Ohio” (which has been recorded by Joan Baez, Olivia Newton-John, Johnny Cash, Porter Wagoner, and others) as a platform. A recent acquisition of the Linda Pace Foundation, which boasts more than 500 examples of groundbreaking contemporary art, Sunset Song remixes the dark “Banks of the Ohio” (which is about a woman who’s killed by her lover after she rejects his marriage proposal) into a contemplative soundscape controlled by light. Depending on where you stand in CHRISpark, where the piece can be experienced from noon until sunset through June 26, you might only hear the male or female parts of Philipsz’s call and response. But under the right canopy of trees, the vocals and genders mesh, and as the sun sets, a solar attenuator slowly quiets Sunset Song. Free, 7-9pm, CHRISpark, 111 Camp, (210) 226-6663, chrispark.org.

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