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Watchlist: Karl Philips


“Genk-Blankenberge-Genk”, 2014: “The performer sits down in the luggage space of a railway carriage. Wearing a sweater knitted in a pattern resembling the seats of a regular NMBS train, he travels from the east of Belgium to the west and back for free. He pretends to pretend he’s a piece of luggage or furniture.”


“Colruyt”, 2014: “The seemingly circular relationship between customer and market gets an extra loop when the performer brings a food tray into a supermarket and attaches it to a shelf. He buys food in the store, comes back in and puts the food on the tray, free for people to take.”


“Wedge”, 2014: Opening up a bank by placing a wooden wedge under the door, the space evolves from semi-private to public. This intervention was performed by circa 20 people at the same time on different locations in Brussels.


“No Title”, 2013: “In No title, a street lantern is hacked. The structure is suspended by wooden wedges, supported by gravity and the weight of the installation. The wedges used in this piece gain a monumental aspect by offering a counterforce to the downward pull of gravity. Recalling a PA-tower as well as a prison watchtower, this structure is a pirates nest for its inhabitant, offering free wif and power.”

“7 Square Metres (Roskilde)”, 2013: As part of the bigger project 7 Square Metres, Karl Philips staged a performance at the Roskilde Festival 2013, hiding a caravan on the festival grounds and unveiling it right before the concert of Metallica. The organisation was not notified in advance. The resulting experimental documentary (expected for the end of 2014, in collaboartion with director Pascal Poissonnier) explores the question whether there is still such a thing as underground.


“Good / Bad / Ugly”, 2012: “Three mobile living units – The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – adopt the language and shape of advertising to blend into and temporarily occupy the public space. The modules were inhabited by nomadic performers, who financed their living by the sale of the advertising space that literally encapsulates them.”


“Shed”, 2011: Extending the environment, a basic open living space with its own power supply was sculpted onto the back of an existing billboard. Everybody was free to take place in this brightly lit, social sculpture.


“Concierge”, 2010: A homeless shelter, made on size of a Clear Channel billboard. Mia lived there for four months and acted as a spokeswoman for the work.

WOW! Meine Neuentdeckung des Monats! I ♥ Karl Philips! “Karl Philips is an emerging young Belgian artist for whom a mild kind of activism is inextricably linked to his work. With his ‘performing art’, he explores the distinctions between public and non-public, common- and underground, ‘us’ and ‘them’. To capture and represent his actions, Philips uses various disciplinary methods, often assembled into one (unconventional) monumental installation, where he firts with the boundaries of what is possible or even legal. His work is the result of the interconnectedness of his practice and way of life – for Karl Philips, art is never non-committal.” Via

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