Long Gone

Susan Philipsz

Glasgow, Scotland, 1965
  • Date: 
  • Edition/serial number: 
    1/3 + 2 A.P.
  • Media description: 
    Sound installation made up of four audio tracks (Micro cassette DAT and Hard disk drive)
  • Duration: 
    2 min. 05 sec.
  • Sound: 
    Stereo sound
  • Category: 
    Installation, Sound Art
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

Susan Philipsz proposes in this sound installation an exploration of the sculptural and psychological properties of sound. Most of her pieces use as their main instrument the voice of the artist, who often performs the pieces a capella. The amateur characteristics of her delicate voice, the moments of silence, the sound of her breathing and the absence of accompaniment envelope the spectator in a sensation of proximity and intimacy not frequently experienced in exhibition spaces, and which sometimes produce uneasiness. Long Gone (2006) incites movement throughout the exhibition space, in search of the origins of the sound waves. On this occasion the artist suggests a path, a melancholy and solitary stroll. Philipsz often uses popular music (from folk to international pop), because of its capacity to reach inside the collective memory and provoke personal reactions connected to feelings like loneliness and melancholy, and to historical, cultural or political idiosyncrasies. The work takes its name from the title of a song written by Syd Barrett - founding member of the psychedelic rock band Pink Floyd but left it due to mental illness and drug problems- and included in his first solo album, The Madcap Laughs (1969). Philipsz appropriates the refrain and performs it repeatedly, along the lines of the serial rhythm often found in the performance art developed by conceptual artists in the 1960s. The same verse is sung over and over again in a descending scale, transmitting a feeling of absence, loss and of revisiting the past in the present. In this way, the voice of the artist, decorporealised, envelopes the audience, creating an immaterial and subjective physicality that forces viewers to establish a new dialogue with their own body and the space around them.Lola Hinojosa

Susan Philipsz
Artworks in the Collection