Paulette Phillips
Cross talk  2004  film still
Curriculum vitae

What occupies my time is a consideration of how we are socially; how we behave against what is in and outside of our control; what we hope for, how we fail; and what we unconsciously reveal about ourselves through the displacement of desire.

Referencing the conventions that determine modern life, my interests veer towards the fringes where trauma, hybridity, aberration and paradox reside. Cinematic language is used to underscore the unconscious roots of paradoxical behaviour and agency within the realms of the natural and psycho-socio. I combine voyeuristic pleasure and a drive to narrate observation with classical film techniques, which are used to construct poetic, uncanny and affecting experiences that amplify our attachments to the specular.

Drawing on the associations that come out of cross-disciplinary practices, I employ multiple implications of image, sound and spatial constructions to convey cultural, physical and emotional substance. Concerned with the structure of experience I like to play with and off the viewer’s visual literacy referencing avant-garde, modernist and post-modernist strategies as they relate to the image and the construction of meaning. This is guided by a sensitivity towards the polyvalent, which I consider a feminist tendency.

I witness my hovering on the fringes, “a kind of spongy observer” receptive and sensitive to a stimulating world. This observation becomes catalyzed through investigations into the phenomena of the natural world and technology such as electromagnetism, forensic science, the growth of mold, hybridity, the swarming patterns of swallows or, in other words, why we like to look. Mixing a critical reading of the principles that determined the age of enlightenment with our ever shifting articulation of what it means to be here - now; I propose, through simple means, an engagement with complexity.

Paulette Phillips

SELECTED WORKS *click thumbnails to view larger images
Monster Tree
2006, 16mm transferred to DVD, flat screen monitor, 6min loop
Homewrecker #1, #2
2005, video installation
2004, duratrans, video and sound
2004, 35mm transferred to DVD, projection with sound, 7min loop
The Secret Life of Criminals
A series of film and video installations
These installations are short gestural narratives based on my observations of human behaviour. These mini dramas are twisted metaphors inspired by occurrences, interactions or acts of folly which play out daily on any bus, street corner, car, restaurant, park, ravines... These witnessed events signal distress, melt down, an illness as metaphor to larger issues confounding our existence. I am interested in how people undo themselves and seemingly participate in their own misfortune. I see this behavioral paradox - of short circuiting one’s best interests - as the root of my continuing interest and engagement with narrative form.
The Secret Life of Criminals, single channel video
The Floating House  2002, 16 mm film with sound, presented as a projection on DVD
Ecstasy  2001, two channel video and sound
"It's about how people judge appearance"  2001, video and sound