Tim Phillips has an extremely varied, investigative practice ranging from the sculptural to the digital - it is in this flux between the real and the virtual that his work exists. Ethereal symbols of belief, authority and worship are woven into objects layered in precious veneers, plastics and other synthetics. It is from within the technologies that the artist uses to give weight to these rocky foundations of belief that point towards the strange democracy afforded to us by the machine.
'We can telescope time and space, hop between the holy and the occult, fuse craft and corporation, the precious to the throwaway, all in the click of a mouse button.'
It is something extremely pertinent to the times in which we live; we are being transformed by our virtual and panoramic experiences of the world. Phillips sees his recent work as a translation of this idea, where culture and belief are interchangeable terms.
The artist uses the term "Roger Rabbit Effect" in relation to the Frankenstein-like constructions which constitute his work, forming his theatrical sculptures out of the residue of religious and corporate iconography. It gives the work a sense of mythology, one that perhaps not deserve with regard to the vacuous geometry that constitutes its parts, but pushed through this process of cutting, veneering and glossing, gilding the proverbial lily, we cannot help but buy into the idea of nothing. Much like 'Venice' in Vegas where the plastic gondolas present us with a theme park idea of place and culture, the work is in a limbo state between fakery and authenticity.
Fanoon: Center for Printmedia Research is the publishing program at VCUQatar’s Painting and Printmaking department.