Susan Philipsz, The Missing String, 2013. Sound installation, dimensions variable.

Susan Philipsz


Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen, K21 Standhaus

Fraught chords and choked notes from unseen instruments fill three galleries. In two of the spaces, recorded string sounds emerge from black electronic speakers mounted in a serpentine line across a long white wall, while a floor-level speaker offers unexpected horn noises. Between the bookended rooms, a third houses small floor speakers that emit more horn blasts. Some visitors will rightly surmise that they are hearing an unusual interpretation of “Metamorphosen for 23 Solo Strings,” a Richard Strauss composition written in 1945. In an adjacent hallway, a didactic text and a looped video of busy studio musicians inform us that Susan Philipsz’s project, The Missing String, was performed with battle-damaged instruments from German museums.…see the entire review in the print version of September’s Sculpture magazine.