Movements and Acts (liberation celebration (@ Smith))
Second Thoughts (called something like (No) Second Chance)
Who Shall Answer (untold secret &/or unasked question)
The Lovers (other green worlds (in depths))
Day of Indolence (25x8x366, infinite expanding horizons surround them)
Feu à éclat flashing light (a storm that roars) [poster image]
This sextet of “covers” by Noah Travis Phillips holds a suggestion of seasons, sextants, or phases & stages – or, most strongly, the jazz sextet. We might think of each composition as a different instrument. We might think of each composition as a different instrument. The titles and their tone(s) may evoke post-rock, with its focus on exploring textures and timbre, and (in)famously verbose and dramatic titles. Another possibility is to think of the group of “covers” as tracks on an EP. These multiple potentials echo the simultaneity of these collages, rich with interconnectivity and potent resonance(s).
In this ensemble Phillips puts their private media archive and their multifaceted collage methodology in dialogue with Yves Tanguy, the renowned Surrealist painter. As a Surrealist, Tanguy applied the principle(s) of automatism to his paintings. Automatism involves creating spontaneous associations with no preconceived ideas; the Surrealists believed this technique could be used to express the workings of the unconscious mind. Tanguy creates desert or lunar/marine landscapes populated with all types of beings, sometimes sharp and angular, some amoeboid and organic, or else disappearing into veils of amorphous smoke and lace.
Tanguy’s poetic and suggestive titles help to activate Phillips’ own associations, pulled from their memory/archive. Additionally Phillips has contributed their own poetic subtitles / addenda to the titles, in this way they amplify the already lyrical ambience. Phillips embraces the opportunity to work with an image from the Smith College Museum of Art where their child attends school to create a congratulatory and victorious moment in this displaced, lunar and infinite landscape. In other images Noah’s interventions dance throughout the impossibility of Tanguy’s vast abstract terrain, populating it as well as transforming its scale, dimension, and personality. Noah plays to/with and against (or oblique to) these fantastic worlds, and an oneiric narrative appears to unfold between the various elements depicted.