Paulette Phillips (born 1956 in Nova Scotia, Canada; lives and works in Toronto and London, Canada).
Mixed media; Single-channel video with audio, 32 min.
“History appears twice, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce” is a suite composed of sculptural works, furniture, and a video that enfold the facets of a complex narrative evolving out of Eileen Gray’s Modernist villa E-1027. [The artist’s] visits to E-1027 between 2003 and 2006 revealed an abused and haunted site, a site that appeared to be both witness and victim of the extreme emotion so absent from Modernist discourse. Using the affect of this house as a launch site, [the artist] worked to embed objects influenced by Gray’s furniture designs with a psychological agency that reflected—through material, gesture, and language—the transhuman qualities evident in this historic site [and] to enrich and complicate the context in which we generally consider the Modernist canon by creating art works that engage the affect of space.”
—Paulette Phillips, “Suspended Pleasure,” in Yesterday’s Tomorrows (Montréal: Musée d’art contemporain, 2010).
“History appears twice, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce is inspired by the poetically tragic aura that surrounds E 1027, a villa on the Côte d’ Azur built by architect and designer Eileen Gray for her lover Jean Badovici in 1929. Having built the house as a romantic getaway, Gray eventually walked away from her labor of love. For a period of time it then became known as Le Corbusier’s house, while Gray languished in obscurity… The exhibition draws from the personalities, emotions and histories that surround both architects by heightening the covert and inherent tensions that defined their practices and mark this house as a haunted site. The works in the installation align to narrate the faded tenets that fueled this vision of modernism, capturing on video and through objects, the idea of the house as a ruin wrought by conflicting energies.”
—”Paulette Phillips, History appears twice, the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce,” Diaz Contemporary website.