Heather Phillipson at Whitechapel Gallery

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Heather Phillipson

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Heather Phillipson

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Heather Phillipson

More Flinching (2016) is the outcome of Heather Phillipson’s writing residency at the Whitechapel Gallery
– Phillipson presents a sprawling poetic work, printed cheaply and distributed throughout the gallery. The piece combines writing about the shooting of a police dog interspersed with memories of the death of pet, and personal writings that evoke the sense of what it is to inhabit a body in all its fleshy intimacy. (amongst other things…)
– Alongside this was a film that showed a pianist playing a piece by Chopin that is mentioned in Philipson’s writing, which is cut with grainy images of a dog that flash and disappear before your brain can make sense of what it is seeing. The audio plays loudly throughout the gallery and gives a filmic, emotional quality to the experience of reading the text.
– I really enjoyed the text and found it’s sprawling form and malleable, loose structure to be engaging and addictive. I was only slightly disappointed that there was no large cut outs and sculptural works that she is known for, as that was what I was looking forward to seeing!
– Overall it made me think about the structure of my own text work and how I can push my writing in more experimental directions, yet remain accessible – which is what Phillipson does perfectly.

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