In the warmer months Governors Island fills up with art, some of it creepy, some of it vaginal, some of it super-phallic, and all of it temporary, to be removed when the weather sours, ferry service gets spotty and the crowds stop coming. But in an announcement last week the Trust for Governors Island awarded a commission for a brand new permanent artwork on the island to British sound artist Susan Philipsz, winner of last year’s Turner Prize.
Philipsz’s new piece, commissioned through New York City’s Percent for Art program, will be unveiled in the island’s 2013 season when new parks and public spaces are completed.
Born in Glasgow and based in Berlin, Philipsz won the prestigious Turner Prize—the highest award for a British contemporary artist—for a sound installation with sculptural components titled “Lowlands” in December of last year.
Philipsz hasn’t selected a site (or several) for her permanent installation at Governors Island. She’s best known for her outdoor sound installations—often situated in parks, historic buildings and other highly-trafficked public spaces—that feature melancholic and mournful singing. To give you an idea, here she is discussing one of her public installations in London, “Surround Me”: