Susan Philipsz

SALEM, MA -- The Peabody Essex Museum is proud to present an immersive sound installation by 2010 Turner Prize Winner Susan Philipsz on Saturday, May 7.  If I with you would go is inspired by PEM's maritime history and its historic East India Marine Hall - a sweeping neoclassical hall filled with immense figureheads and 18th-century portraits of New England ship captains. The third project in PEM's contemporary series, FreePort, Philipsz's work goes to the heart of the museum and Salem's past, evocatively connecting it all with the present.

"If I with you would go responds to both the tangible maritime history, as well as what is not displayed - the stories of longing and loss, the paradox of the sea as provider of opportunity and taker of life. I hope my work gives voice these interpretive possibilities and allows visitors to engage a range of senses in the gallery," said Philipsz.

Born in Glasgow, Scotland, Philipsz is the 2010 winner of the prestigious Turner Prize - an annual award bestowed to the best contemporary British artists under age 50. Originally a sculptor, she is best known for her sound installations, which explore ways in which the emotive and psychological properties of song alter a listener's perception of place and time. 

"Hearing Susan Philipsz sing is not like listening to a performance. It's more like overhearing someone singing to themselves, thinking and feeling through song," says PEM's Curator of Contemporary Art, Trevor Smith. "We expect our visitors to be transported and enchanted by hearing Philipsz's aural reveries and to freshly consider sound as a rich artistic medium available to artists working today."

If I with you would go is inspired by The Child Ballads, a collection of over 300 English and Scottish folk ballads compiled in the late 19th century. Philipsz's sound installation draws from a ballad in the collection entitled, "The House Carpenter's Wife (The Daemon Lover)", which ruminates on themes of shipwrecks, betrayal and loss.


FreePort invites some of the most provocative artists working today to interact with PEM's 212-year-old collection and create a dialogue with its collection and its audiences. Current and upcoming FreePort installations include:

FreePort [No. 001]: Charles Sandison -- on view through April 24, 2011
FreePort [No. 002]: Marianne Mueller -- on view through December 31, 2011
FreePort [No. 003]: Susan Philipsz ­­­­­­­ -- on view May 7 through September 1, 2011
FreePort [No. 004]: Peter Hutton  -- on view September 1 through December 31, 2011


Members of the press are invited to interview Susan Philipsz during the week of May 1st. Phone and in-person interview opportunities are available.  Please contact the Press Office for details.


The Peabody Essex Museum presents art and culture from New England and around the world. The museum's collections are among the finest of their kind, showcasing an unrivaled spectrum of American art and architecture (including four National Historic Landmark buildings) and outstanding Asian, Asian Export, Native American, African, Oceanic, Maritime and Photography collections. In addition to its vast collections, the museum offers a vibrant schedule of changing exhibitions and a hands?on education center. The museum campus features numerous parks, period gardens and 22 historic properties, including Yin Yu Tang, a 200?year?old house that is the only example of Chinese domestic architecture on display in the United States.

HOURS: Open Tuesday?Sunday and holiday Mondays, 10 am?5 pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Day.

ADMISSION: Adults $15; seniors $13; students $11. Additional admission to Yin Yu Tang: $5. Members, youth 16 and under and residents of Salem enjoy free general admission and free admission to Yin Yu Tang.

INFO: Call 866?745?1876 or visit our Web site at

PR Contacts:

Whitney Van Dyke  -  Director of Communications  -  978-542-1828  -

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