Liz Phillips

Whitney Museum of American Art

The museum’s Film and Video Gallery was transformed for over a month into an environment that raised a host of questions about the relationship between space, movement, and sound. The walls of the gallery were painted a subdued gray and the space was turned into a reinterpretation of a Japanese rock garden. Instead of using the traditional sand or small pebbles, Liz Phillips covered the floor with uncombed wool. Near the center of the room was a structure; its scrim walls, skewed to form a parallelogram in plan, housed the electronic controls for the installation. A raised wooden walkway led to this structure and formed a path around it. At other sites around the space, Phillips placed groupings of rocks containing copper ore, shale, and quartz, and tablets of Arizona flagstone. Viewers were instructed to walk on the wooden path or stones, but not on the wool.

The Japanese garden has

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