About: Glenn Phillips

As a consulting curator at the Getty Research Institute, I specialize in postwar and contemporary art, including video, performance, and other time-based practices. I've organized the exhibitions California Video and Evidence of Movement, as well as several video series, including "Pioneers of Brazilian Video Art, 1973–1983," "Surveying the Border: Three Decades of Video Art about the United States and Mexico", "Reckless Behavior", and "Radical Communication: Japanese Video Art, 1968–1988". I came to the Getty from the Whitney Museum of American Art, where I worked on exhibitions about contemporary art and video.

Posts by Glenn

Posted in Art, Getty Research Institute, Paintings, Scholarship

Frederick Hammersley Foundation Donates Archive to the Getty Research Institute

Page from Notebook 3 / Frederick Hammersley
Page from Notebook 3, Frederick Hammersley, 1978. Artwork © Frederick Hammersley Foundation

“Despite their precise lines and construction, Hammersley’s work displays a personal touch, guided by his belief in intuition as an important principle for art making.” More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes

Join Suzanne Lacy to Demand that #RapeEndsHere

Suzanne Lacy with the Rape Map at LAPD headquarters, January 2012

January 19 is the official launch of the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival. But it’s already unofficially begun, not only with pre-festival events last night at LAXART and tonight at the Getty Center, but also with what… More»

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Posted in Behind the Scenes, Getty Research Institute

Fire and Ice: Artists Get Ready for the Pacific Standard Time Festival

A visitor admires one of the original Disappearing Environments structures in 1968. Photo: Lloyd Hamrol

From January 19 to 29, the Pacific Standard Time Performance and Public Art Festival will present more than 30 new public art commissions and re-invented works of performance art inspired by the amazing history of art in Southern California. As… More»

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Posted in Photographs, Film, and Video

Sincerity Is the New Radical: Bravo’s Work of Art

Still from Nao Bustamante's Sans Gravity

I sat down last Wednesday night with some trepidation to watch the premiere of Bravo’s new reality show Work of Art: The Next Great Artist. For most artists and arts professionals, the show was a harrowing prospect—how can the artistic… More»

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      A Chat with Photographer Tomoko Sawada

      A conversation about Japanese matchmaking traditions, self-portraiture, clothes, and identity.

      When did you start photographing yourself?
      I began making self-portraits when I was 19. It was an assignment for a photography class. I can’t even explain in Japanese why I liked them so much. It was instinctual. It’s as if I knew that this was going to be my style, that this is what I wanted to do. And I’m still doing it because I love the self-portrait, but I don’t know why. 

      What themes are you exploring in your work?
      I’m interested in the relationship between inside and outside. If you wear a sexy dress or if you wear kids clothes or casual clothes, people treat you differently. Even though you are you no matter what you wear. It’s that relationship that makes me think. 

      My new work is from when I was living in New York. When I was in New York, people didn’t think I was Japanese. Sometimes they thought I was Korean or Chines or Mongolian. Even Singaporean. It was funny, when I would go to the Japanese market, they would speak to me in English. When I went to the Korean market, they would speak to me in English again. I don’t seem to look Japanese outside of Japan. I was surprised because I think I look totally Japanese. It’s funny that people’s points of view are totally different.

      Could you talk a little about OMIAI, the series that represents a traditional Japanese matchmaking technique.
      OMIAI is a tradition that is somehow still working today. Usually, there is a matchmaker and photographs are exchanged before meeting. If both sides are interested, they can meet for lunch or dinner accompanied by their parents and steps for marriage proceed from there. In the old days, some people chose their marriage partner just through photographs, without even meeting each other. 

      When OMIAI was exhibited in Japan I saw people making various comments in from of the work. People would say things like, “she looks like a good cook; surely she would prepare delicious meals every day,” or “ this girl could be a perfect bride for my son,” or “I can tell she would not be a good housewife,” or “she’s such a graceful girl; she must be the daughter of a decent family.” Comments like that. 

      What was the process of making that work?
      I gained 10 pounds before I started taking the pictures, and in six months I lost forty pounds, because I wanted to look different in each photo. I wanted to change the way my legs looked. 

      Every weekend I went to the hair salon and put on a kimono. Then I went to the photo studio on the street in Japan. I would take a picture and then change my clothes to western dress. Then I would go to the studio again the next weekend. 

      Did you tell the photographer how you wanted it done?
      I told him I was an artist and wanted to make photographs with him. I told him to think that each weekend new girls would show up to make the OMIAI. I didn’t want him to think of me as the same girl who came every weekend. He understood the concept. 

      We had fun. While he was taking pictures, his wife would tell me how to lose weight. She gave me many tips.


      Tomoko Sawada’s work is on view at the Getty until February 21, 2016 in “The Younger Generation: Contemporary Japanese Photography”

      02/11/16

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