Susan Philipsz
By My Side, 2009
Two-channel sound installation
3 min, 5 sec, played every 5 minutes
Courtesy of the artist and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York
Location: Collins Park

By My Side is a sound installation featuring the artist singing a devotional song from the popular 1973 musical Godspell. The lyrics describe the leap of faith necessary when a person follows someone they love to a new country. It explores ideas of travel, displacement, longing and loss through a duet between a lover and a loved one. The song begins as a single voice and then takes the form of a two-part harmony with one voice following the other. The artist recorded her own voice singing in harmony, with the two parts separated onto different channels that play from different speakers in Collins Park. The closing refrain builds up to a polyphony of voices that suggests unity and togetherness.

This project is supported in part by awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Knight Foundation.

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