Bruce E. Phillips is a Wellington-based writer and curator. From 2011-16 he was the Senior Curator at Te Tuhi, Auckland. In 2017, he continued as Te Tuhi’s Curator at Large while also acting as Advisory Curator for Toi Moroki Centre of Contemporary Art, Christchurch. He is currently lecturing part-time at Massey and Victoria Universities in Wellington plus undertaking a PhD, freelance writing and curating EAST 2018—a biennial exhibition held at Hastings City Art Gallery.
Phillips has curated many exhibitions featuring over 200 artists such as Jonathas de Andrade, Tania Bruguera, Ruth Ewan, Newell Harry, Amanda Heng, Rangituhia Hollis, Tehching Hsieh, Maddie Leach, William Pope.L, Santiago Sierra, Peter Robinson, Shannon Te Ao, Luke Willis Thompson, Kalisolaite ‘Uhila, Ruth Watson and The Otolith Group. Selected group exhibitions include: Close Encounters at the Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago (2008–2010); What do you mean, we? (2012), Between Memory and Trace (2012), Unstuck in Time (2014), THE HIVE HUMS WITH MANY MINDS (2016) TeTuhi, Auckland; and Share/Cheat/Unite (2016-17) at TeTuhi and The Physics Room, Christchurch. With Sorcha Carey he curated With the sun aglow, I have my pensive moods by artist Shannon Te Ao for the 2017 Edinburgh Art Festival, commissioned by Te Tuhi and the Edinburgh Art Festival.
As a writer he has contributed reviews and articles for art magazines and journals including ArtAsiaPacific, ArtLink Australia, Art News New Zealand, Eyecontact, Hue & Cry and Le Roy; and has contributed essays to publications for organisations such as Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, Enjoy Gallery, Govett-Brewster Art Gallery, Letting Space, ST Paul St Gallery and Te Tuhi.
"Under Phillips’ curatorial direction, Te Tuhi hasn’t just reflected its local community but built new, diverse ones within the art world, in ways similar venues . . . struggle to do . . . it’s never shied away from exploring some of contemporary Auckland’s defining questions, particularly around race, class and property."
The quiet curator: Bruce Phillips' time heading Pakuranga's Te Tuhi gallery
by Anthony Byrt
15 June 2017
"at the leading edge of curatorial practice and exhibition making within Aotearoa and internationally, this project is an example of Te Tuhi being real innovators and risk takers."
Te Tuhi wins at NZ Museum Awards
11:39, June 27 2017
"Curating is essentially an antidemocratic profession. This realisation has troubled me throughout my career and to counteract this authoritarian tendency I have tried to develop strategies such as: being aware of latent bias, including many voices, giving freedom to artists ..."