Paulette Phillips

History appears twice, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce

Friday, 29th January - Saturday, 6th March 2010

Paulette Phillips was born in Canada, and during her career has established an international reputation for her tense, humorous and uncanny explorations of the phenomena of conflicting energies. She works in film and sculpture with an interest in the contradictions that play out in our construction of stability.

Paulette Phillips / History appears twice... / NCAD Gallery / 2010

'History appears twice', 2010 Paulette Phillips, installation view NCAD Gallery. Photography: Davy Moor

History appears twice, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce. is inspired by the poetically tragic aura that surrounds E 1027, a villa on the Cote d’ Azur built by architect and designer Eileen Gray for her lover Jean Badovici in 1929. Having built the house as a romantic getaway, Gray eventually walked away from her labor of love. For a period of time it then became known as Le Corbusier’s house, while Gray languished in obscurity.

Shell, a thirty-two minute video shot on location by Phillips and Robert Lee, contains traces of Gray’s original vision. In tracing the evidence of abuse the house has endured since its sensuous beginning, the video captures an emotional topography that lies beneath the villa’s structure to renegotiate the enduring legacy of Gray’s modernist gem. This extensive footage captures the house before it underwent the contested renovation that restored Le Corbusier’s controversial murals.
The exhibition draws from the personalities, emotions and histories that surround both architects by heightening the covert and inherent tensions that defined their practices and mark this house as a haunted site. The works in the installation align to narrate the faded tenets that fueled this vision of modernism, capturing on video and through objects, the idea of the house as a ruin wrought by conflicting energies.

Paulette Phillips’ work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Danielle Arnaud contemporary art; The Oakville Galleries; Cambridge Galleries and The Ottawa Art Gallery.
Recent commissions include The Walking Ferns, solar powered robotic ferns installed at the Tatton Park Biennale, Britain, May – September 2008; Marnie’s Handbag, that premiered at a screening at The Tate Modern on May 10th 2008. Recent group exhibitions include: Gallerie Chomette, Paris; The Canadian Cultural Centre, Paris; The Power Plant, Toronto; ZKM, Germany; Kunsthaus Graz, Austria; Heidelberger Kunstverein, Germany, Ludwig Museum, Hungary and the Palazzo della Papesse, Italy. Phillips teaches film and installation at The Ontario College of Art and Design.

This work was made possible by the support of the Ontario Arts Council’s Chalmers Arts Fellowship, the Canada Council for the Arts and The Toronto Arts Council.

Related lecture:

The National College of Art and Design/ Gallery is please to present a public roundtable discussion hosted by Art in the Contemporary World.

Eileen Gray and Modernism in an Irish Context at 5.30 PM on Tuesday 2nd Feb. in the Harry Clark Lecture Theatre, National College of Art and Design, 100 Thomas St., Dublin 8
Participants include: Francis Halsall, MA, Art in the Contemporary World, (introductions)
Lisa Godson, Gradcam, (chair)
Padraic Moore, curator, Hugh Lane,
Paulette Phillips, artist
Prof. Kathleen James Chakraborty, Chair, History of Art, UCD.

For more information please contact  +353 (0) 1 6364390 or
Open Mon – Fri 1pm- 5pm, NCAD Gallery, 100 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.