Justy Phillips

Australia (residence) °1975
research interests: Publishing as art practice, artistic research, Writing as artistic research, more-than-human

Artists and writer, Justy Phillips makes long-term relational artworks through shared acts of public telling.  Together with artist Margaret Woodward, she is co-founder of the Australian artist collaborative, A Published Event. Exploring chance encounter, constructed situations and the shared authorship of lived experience, we work with artists and writers, materials and ideas, writing, prose, book-works, video, installation and performance. Their hybrid works—a kind of fusing-distilling-slagging-attuning to the local(e)—explore the metaphysical language and speculative publishing of lived experience. Through publishing-as-art-practice, A Published Event is an offering to participate. Together they co-compose complex fields of social, cultural and political relations by testing the proposition of a telling event. Propelled by a desire to connect with the more-than-human elements of everyday life, A Published Event seeks a kind of solidarity built on affective attunement. Phillips regularly undertakes local and international fieldwork and residencies, participates in exhibitions, arts festivals and artist’s book fairs and shares her work at national and international academic institutions. In 2017, A Published Event was selected as collaborating artists in the Banff International Curatorial Institute’s Residency Geologic Time curated by Max Andrews and Mariana Capena Luna (Latitudes), with faculty, Sean Lynch (Ireland).
 Two of their 2017 publications, Crocoite by Margaret Woodward and Fall of the Derwent by A Published Event were long-listed as finalists in the Premier’s Literary Awards, Tasmania, Australia. Phillips hold a PhD in Creative Media from RMIT University, Melbourne.


research expositions (collaborated)


Exposition: The Photogram as a Domestic Diary (01/01/2013) by Pamela Salen
Justy Phillips 02/05/2014 at 14:54

Pamela Salen’s submission offers an engaging, poetic and powerful narrative to the field of contemporary art practice engaging with constructions of home through personal memory, historiography and the domesticity of place. The submission interweaves eloquent contextual writing, powerful personal narrative, video and photographic stills around a tightly curated sequence of investigations.


This submission is of particular interest to artists/ scholars engaged in durational and historiographical practices. Key themes underlying this submission include investigations of the present, personal narrative, everyday lived experience, embodied sites and the ‘in-between’. Those interested in notions of being with-time, as Boris Groys’ interpretation of ‘con-temporary’ might suggest, will find this submission revealing in its methods of production and presentation. Imagined and constructed very much in the present, Salen’s artworks reveal an embodied and acutely aware remembrance of the past, with streams of personal narrative flowing easily through the submission. Artists working with photographic process, both analogue and digital will find Salen’s imagery both intriguing and softly meditative, where that which is occluded becomes the reference for ones own imagination. In this sense, the work will certainly appeal to those interested in exploring the in-between, including those engaging with Deleuze’s concept of mileu (middle) or that, which is in-between.


The Photogram as Domestic Diary opens beautifully in terms of the spectrum of possibilities it unfolds; the re-imagining of place, the recounting of personal experience – remembered or invented, and for me, most pertinent is the notion of home as an embodied site of personal memory. A memory or lived or imagined experience.


The artworks produced are potent explorations of temporality and lived experience. I find them to be innovative and surprising and shifting in-between something lost and something found.


Definitions are well considered throughout adding sharpness and clarity to the artist’s development of key notions such as ‘home’. The concept of home as ‘autobiographical story’ is particularly well developed, extending a multiplicity of avenues for the reader venture into. The author draws an interesting conceptual line back to nineteenth century Danish artist Vilhelm Hammershøi, making reference to Hammershøi’s ‘silent interiors’. This is an insightful connection, which draws me further into Salen’s photographic stills Childhood, Bedroom 2 and The Studio, Jack’s Room, where again, it is my own memory, which comes flooding back. Salen articulates her process of making clearly and inventively. These passages are a pleasure to read and are generously rewarding in their detail. The distinct processes of research, production and publication of Salen’s paper models reveal an acute understanding and empathy with home as embodied interior. The models themselves are achingly beautiful, with installation images providing a wide range of sculptural configurations.


In Salen’s conclusion, we return to the personal narrative of the author. Once again I enter a bifurcated interior, full of warm sunlight with no access to the exterior world beyond the window. For me, this is where the real poetry of these artworks rest, in the bowels of my own history, my own interior, quietly at rest until I leave this room where I am sitting, exchange the window of this screen for the window to my garden. And then…


Justy Phillips, 15th December 2013.

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