Philip Crawford (born 1988, Dallas, TX; lives Berlin, Germany) received a BA in history from Stanford University, CA in 2011 and an MFA in sculpture from the Tyler School of Art and Architecture, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA in 2022. His studio practice combines printmaking, sculpture, video and installation, exploring the ways we read images and decipher the narratives they transmit. Crawford’s work has been exhibited at galleries and other institutions in the United States including Kai Lin Gallery, Atlanta, GA; Elaine L. Jacob Gallery, Detroit, MI; Pilot + Projects and Temple Contemporary, both Philadelphia; and Santa Fe Art Institute, NM; as well as internationally at Zizkovsiska Gallery, Prague, Czech Republic; Enter Art Foundation, Global Diplomacy Lab, Kunstquartier Bethanien and Nüüd Gallerie, all Berlin; University of Cologne, Germany; Galerie Der Künstler*innen, Munich, Germany; and Akademie Für Politische Bildung, Tutzing, Germany.
Statement from the Artist:
I slow down the reading of “fast images” – those commodified, culture-specific representations that often become submerged under the uncritical lens of the “popular.” The work redirects the natural aging process of phosphors in plasma television screens to intentionally retain or “burn-in” images. The resulting ghost image exists not as a transmitted signal, but as an integral part of the screen itself. In the burned screen, the image becomes a concrete object: a readymade, a sculpture, a print. I’m interested in understanding how the attenuated presence of the image within the screen and its ghostly legibility offers space to critique the fast image as mediated, contingent, and representational.
Angels attends to particular concerns over racial reconciliation and magical realism in American cinema. The fast images selected for this piece reenact a sequence from The Green Mile. Here, John Coffey, the “magical Negro” and death row inmate, requests to see a film before being put to death. We watch him enthralled, under the glow of the screen, by the angelic dancing figures of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers.