AMBruno Artists: Philip Lee

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Philip Lee

Books

As a performance artist I am particularly interested in making books that animate my body on the page, creating an illusion of movement and liveness. Examples include flipbooks and a phenakistoscope, which make use of persistence of vision. Other books show photographs in which I perform roles, for example, as a naked blue gardener or as Dada characters. It is important to me that my books show my body, which is both the material and subject of my work as a performance artist.

Short films

In short films I want to show a live performance as near to 'live' as possible. These short films are shot so that the viewer sees the performance as if they were there in a fixed place looking in a single direction throughout. Each viewer feels that they are in the position of a solitary witness unable to tear their eyes away from what is happening. The result is an unblinking and uncomfortable view of myself being pelted by an unseen person with clay slip, chalk fragments and rocks.

Slip and Chalk

Philip Lee

I’m a performance artist and my own body is my essential medium.

I also enact performances in prints, photographs, films, books and ceramic sculpture.

I have performed in galleries, in street interventions, and for camera. Venues for my performances have included the Arnolfini, Bristol; The Tetley, Leeds; Oriel Davis, Newtown, Wales; and the Nunnery Gallery, Bow and the Courtauld Institute, in London.

My research interest is in the overlap of performance and ceramics. At the European Ceramics Workshop Centre (EKWC) in The Netherlands in 2014, I investigated the interaction of large volumes of clay slip on my body.

www.philiplee.co.uk


Body Black Circle is part of AMBruno's Black Circle collection. A black circle pushes the naked performance artist Philip Lee off the page to subvert his persistent nudity and replace it with its sophisticated abstraction. The humorous juxtaposition of flesh and graphics suggests two disparate art discourses at odds.

Body Black Circle by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, Body Black Circle (2012)
190 x 73mm. Edition of 10. Concertina format. Inkjet print.

International Day by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee, International Day
Edition of 25. Inkjet printed. Hand-sewn pamphlet.

Body For Words by Philip Lee

Philip Lee
Body For Words

International Day is part of AMBruno's [sic] collection. At Cally’s English primary school, in the early 1960s, there was an annual ‘International Day’, when children dressed up in a mish-mash of national costumes. Cally and Philip have re-created International Day, and readers are invited to identify the eight European countries they depict, so becoming complicit in the stereotypes.

Body For Words is part of AMBruno's words collection. Philip Lee has replaced with a photograph of his naked body, the spaces occupied by the text on the ‘front matter’ pages of The Nude: A Study in Ideal Form by Kenneth Clark. The blocks, previously taken up by written text, are now the parts of an image of the flawed naked body of an actual man in his fifties.

Peacock by Philip Lee

Philip Lee
Peacock

Shirt List  by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, Shirt List
Edition of 15.
Printed on acid-free paper, hand sewn.

Peacock is part of AMBruno's Red collection. It is a concertina book of 14 red pigmented-ink drawings of the artist's cock, from at rest to erect. In the state of erection, the penis is the reddest part of a man's body. Animating the movement, the red in the drawings also represents the blood engorging and reddening of the penis during excitation.

Shirt List is part of AMBruno's Lists etc. collection. It is a catalogue of all the shirts Philip Lee is not usually allowed to wear. The photographs are by Cally Trench.

Stories in the Dark by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, Stories in the Dark (2013)
Ink body print.

16 Dada Heads by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee
16 Dada Heads (2013)

Stories in the Dark is part of AMBruno's I'm telling you stories. Trust me collection of limited edition prints. Story telling doesn't need technology. Stories may be told in the dark with only a mouth to speak and an ear to listen. Stories in the Dark are symbolic of the act of story telling; the subject, medium, and material of each print are the body; narrative and image-making are reduced to their simplest.

16 Dada Heads is part of AMBruno's 16 collection. To celebrate the start of Dada in 1916, 16 Dada Heads is based on, inspired by, or completely tangential to Dada. They include our reinterpretation of Marcel Duchamp's Rrose Sélavy, Raoul Hausmann's Mechanical Head, and George Grosz's Republican Automatons, featuring Cally Trench and Philip Lee as models, photographers, and designers/interpreters. Sixteen Dada Heads, a performance based on the book, was performed by Cally and Philip at the Eagle Gallery on 13th July 2013.

Body Fold by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, Body Fold (2012)
199 x 136mm. Unlimited edition. Inkjet print.

Blue Home Grown by Cally Trench and Philip Lee

Cally Trench and Philip Lee
Blue Home Grown (2011)

Body Fold is part of AMBruno's One-Fold Books collection. It shows performance artist Philip Lee’s naked body. The cover shows him bent over. Unfold the book to see more!

Blue Home Grown is part of AMBruno's Blue collection. It is a friendly homage to Roy Hay's Home Grown, a gardening hit of 1956, based on a BBC TV programme. We have taken photographs of a blue man gardening, following the advice given in the original Home Grown black-and-white photographs. This edition of six books alternates pages of the original photographs with our new ones, and is a friendly homage to the original work.

White III by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, White III (2008)
300 x 108mm. Edition of 10.
Bound photographs by Judy Goldhill.

The Camouflage Flipbook by Philip Lee, Judy Goldhill,
 and Cally Trench

Philip Lee, Judy Goldhill, and Cally Trench
The Camouflage Flipbook (2010)
270 x 130 mm. Edition of 5. Bound photographs.

White III A flipbook, animating part of one of Philip Lee's live body performances.

The Camouflage Flipbook A flipbook, animating black stripes spreading down Philip Lee's body as he rotates and moves his arms.

White Phenakistoscope – White V by Philip Lee

Philip Lee
White Phenakistoscope, White V (2011)
Diameter 190 mm. Inkjet print.

Measure for Measure Flipbook  

by Philip Lee, Judy Goldhill, and Cally Trench

Philip Lee, Judy Goldhill, and Cally Trench
The Measure for Measure Flipbook (2011)
170 x 220 mm. Unique edition.

White Phenakistoscope, White V: An optical toy, which animates part of a performance, White I, by Philip Lee.

A found copy of Shakespeare's play used to make a flipbook. The Measure for Measure Flipbook is part of Camouflage by Cally Trench, Judy Goldhill and Philip Lee. Philip Lee's body is painted by Cally in ways informed by dazzle camouflage, zebras, shadows, crumpled clothes and migraine visual disturbances, and then photographed by Judy Goldhill. The flipbook was created using a found copy of Shakespeare's Measure For Measure, into which Judy Goldhill's photographs from Camouflage Angled were added to each page.

 Slip and Chalk I by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, Slip and Chalk I (2011)
Video. 101 seconds.

 Slip and Chalk III by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, Slip & Chalk III (2011)
Video. 101 seconds.

Slip and Chalk I, II and III were shown in AMBruno's Project 101 Video Works, New York. They show my naked flesh being pelted with clay and chalk for 101 seconds while I am blindfolded. In Slip & Chalk I, an unseen person throws white clay slip at my naked torso, and I flinch as the clay hits my body.

Slip and Chalk I on vimeo.

In Slip & Chalk III, I am stoned with large pieces of chalk rock. These cause me to flinch with pain, and expose my reddening skin as the clay and smaller chalk fragments are dislodged.

Slip and Chalk III on vimeo.

Skin and Slip by Philip Lee

Philip Lee and Cally Trench, Skin and Slip (2012)
Video.

Skin and Slip: Clay slip and water transform flesh and backdrop, in a continuous process of evolving surfaces. Bare skin is distorted by the viscous liquid and then washed away in a metamorphosis referencing aging and bodily mutability. Skin and Slip was devised by Philip Lee and Cally Trench and performed for camera by Philip Lee on 12th May 2012 in Dagnall, Buckinghamshire. Shown in AMBruno's Surfaces: Works on Paper exhibition in Porto.

Skin and Slip on vimeo.

Blindfold Slip III by Philip Lee

Philip Lee
Blindfold Slip III (23 October 2010)

Slip Chalk Water by Philip Lee

Philip Lee, Slip Chalk Water (2010)
Video loop projected life size.

Blindfold Slip III: A live body performance and installation in collaboration with Cally Trench at AMBruno's The Exquisite Stone Corpse. Installation included Slip Chalk Water, video loop projected life size.

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