The Long Black Wig Project: A False Sense of History by Becky Eddy Phillips

The Long Black Wig Project: A False Sense of History by Becky Eddy Phillips

November 3 - December 29, 2017

Reception: December 1, 2017; 6 - 9pm

Artist Statement

Becky Eddy Phillips’ art wavers in leaps and falls between the introspective and intellectual realms, with dialogues in science, domesticity and feminism. Grounding herself firmly in the present, she experiments with installation and performance to represent the primitive within a progressive contemporary plot. Phillips’ imagery is strangely eery, with a feminine edge, as if there were an invisible link to the past lives of the Surrealist women.

The Long Black Wig Project: A False Sense of History is an installation that has larger than life size and diminutive prints of characters that are suspended within linear space. With videos on their surface, projecting false histories onto people and objects. Their faces are culled from on-line. Their clothing is of post-modernistic false historic costume and is worn in performance for video. As well, the viewer begins to project false historical narratives and their relation to the people, the objects, their relation to history and the artist. The 20 foot wig is both conduit and fiber, that connects the ages of prehistory, the Rococo, the Victorian, the 60’s and up to the bewitched present.

The video effects are a staccato of warped time. Miss Sara Tonin’s Fancy and My Fair Roxy Tocin, combined with Calculation Swipe, documents the comings and goings, the desire to acquire as a release of feel-good hormones. A quote from the movie The Jerk is spoken by an owl who proclaims, with a nod to art, “I don’t need anything except THIS”, meaning the role of art as a non-commodity and ritualistic exorcism, a recurrent theme in the artist’s 25 year career. The video A False Sense of History Indeed is set in a perpetual green screen, including the artist herself, allowing the art objects and persona to exist within any time and place; past, present or future, freeing them from history. With the objects as a conduit, there is an intention to recover, retain and project fake and real memory. In a world of discarded objects, the artist examines the objects she has kept through all the years and all the moves. Some had a long history before she acquired them, some, her babies clothing. Now assigned to the denizens of the art world, they reach exponential potential with no one set truth, save for the concept.


Becky Phillips holds an MFA from West Virginia University and received a BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She was born and raised in West Virginia with pivotal moves to Pittsburgh, Chicago, San Francisco, Texas and the most recent, Oregon. She is an Adjunct Professor in the Fine Arts Department at Blinn College, TX and at Southwestern Oregon Community College in Oregon.

Becky Phillips is the recipient of the Franklin Furnace Fund in New York City, a West Virginia Culture and History Grant from the NEA, The Puffin Foundation in N.J. and an MFA graduate full tuition waiver and merit scholarship. She has exhibited at many institutions including The Kinsey Institute, The Cleveland Performance Art Festival, Randolph Street Gallery (Chicago), The Texas National, Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Garfield Art Works (Pittsburgh), Visual Arts Alliance (Houston), SEAD Gallery (Bryan), Forsyth Gallery (Texas A&M) and The University of Science and Art (Oklahoma) and the Coos Art Museum. Her work can be seen on the cover of the science textbook “The Seven Sexes” by Dr. Elof Carlson. In the Fall of 2017, she has a solo exhibit at The Fort Worth Community Art Center in Fort Worth, TX., and in 2018 a solo exhibit at The Newport Visual Art Center in OR.