Rachel Murphy: The art of re-imagining

“The kind of work that I really like is work that takes an idea and kind of forces you to see it in a different way.” Rachel Murphy believes an artist should be resilient. They should be able to start over, recreate themselves, apply for new things and always have stamina. Through optimism and self belief, it is possible to not get stuck, get away from agonizing, be able to have a  productive outlet and keep going. 

Rachel’s path into art just fell into place. She was interested in art since she was a kid and fortunately she had parents that guided her into studying it. She reflects that unlike the norm, she was supported and encouraged by her family even though that wasn’t a likely choice within her classmates. “I never really felt like I ‘decided’. I just felt that it really suited me and my way of thinking.”

The mechanics of Rachel’s work 

The way Rachel approaches her art is by conceptualizing  an idea first before figuring out what medium to perform with, it feels quite intuitive for her. She works mainly through video, sound, installation, writing and print. She does extensive research first that usually guides her to use found audio and video material. This is important for her since she pursues the idea of rewriting narratives. Mainly she focuses on language and scientific language. In her practice, she seeks to establish alternative narratives to scientific literature through linguistic gaps and deliberate misinterpretation, often reading scientific data as fictional text. “Because my work contains a lot of different references, the writing of others and my own, I sometimes feel like I’m creating a visual or filmic essay.”

images by PILOTENKUECHE or supplied by artist 

Doing and trying new things as well as learning new skills, is what sparks Rachel. “…at the moment… I’m  learning how to rewire electricity. I completely learned it by myself. I really like getting into tech and getting into how things work. It’s really important as a media artist; you’re constantly referencing the medium you’re using.”

Wheels of stimulation

For Rachel, something as simple as using public transportation, gives her inspiration throughout the day. She enjoys the space to take time for reading, writing, and preparing for her daily tasks.  In fact,  she actually believes that most of her best ideas come when she’s leaving the studio at night. “And I definitely think that, whatever media you’re consuming, either actively consuming as part of artist research or even passively consuming just kind of becomes a lot of the work you put out. You kind of have to surrender a certain amount of your work to your subconscious.”

The inflection

For this round in PILOTENKUECHE, Rachel is exploring the concept of phonocentrismIt is the idea that spoken tradition is superior to writing because it can contain the soul or intonation of a person. Writing can be more unpredictable because it could be read in multiple ways. She will examine the idea of hearing something in real time as opposed to it being printed.

Written by Sarah Boada

You can keep up with Rachel at  her website or catch up with her at one of our upcoming shows.


Vernissage 18 Feb 7-10 PM
Open Sun 19, Sat 25, Sun 26 Feb 4-8 PM
Geisserstr 75
04229 Leipzig    


Vernissage 18 March 7-10 PM
Open Sun 19 – Wed 22 Mar 4-8 PM

Franz-Flemming-Str 9
04179 Leipzig