Exhibitions - The Strategic Response Group (TSRG)

Julian Louis Phillips
The Strategic Response Group (TSRG)

10.02.21 – 02.13.22

Year of Uncertainty (YoU)

An exhibition space with text and image based art along its two longest walls. In the center is two, flat screens on tripods facing back-to-back. The screens are centered on a red, oriental rug, in between two, brown leather armchairs. On the screen facing forward is a man against a white backdrop. His form is blurred and gestural in a way that implies movement.

Image: Installation view, "Julian Louis Phillips: The Strategic Response Group (TSRG)", Queens Museum. Photo credit: Hai Zhang.

For his Year of Uncertainty project, Artist-In-Residence Julian Louis Phillips centers on the psychological and physical presence of the police, referencing police training manuals, protest banners and “civil disorder” tactics. The Strategic Response Group (TSRG) serves as a counter-narrative project that will be defined through gradually developing channels of communication. Experimenting with new methodologies and conceptual frameworks the exhibition will evolve over time with elements such as sculptures, drawings, films, and a series of collaborative youth workshops. Together these address the histories, strategies, and experiences of policing and protest, and explore transformative visions of abolition and an end to the carceral state.


In the Museum’s central atrium, Phillips’ sculptures simulate the appearance of heavy concrete NYPD police barricades but are mobile, lightweight, and soft. These works exemplify the artists’ intervention in and subversion of embodied forms of control and dissent. The artist invites visitors to voice their power and participate by leaving drawings and messages to accumulate directly on the surface of the sculptures. For the Museum’s gallery space, Phillips presents a living room video installation of performance-based films that explore what it means to be “radicalized” in a Black body and the perception of that radicalization. Text and image based drawings will gradually accumulate to cover the surrounding walls. These integrate the visual language of protest signs with the artist’s personal reflections on social justice and resistance work under capitalism.  


Julian Louis Phillips is a multidisciplinary artist working with performance, sculpture, video, and participatory practices. He is a graduate of Social Practice Queens at CUNY Queens College. Phillips is interested in socio-psychological dissonance and how it manifests in various forms of popular media. Mythologies around sport, national identity, and the police are where he finds material to explore the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance as a problem of perception. Phillips has been the recipient of the More Art Engaging Artist Fellowship, Jamaica Center for Arts and Learning Artist in Residency Fellowship, and NARS Foundation Residency. He has exhibited and performed throughout the region, including the Southeast Queens Biennial at York College and Jamaica Center for Arts & Learning (JCAL), Jamaica, NY and New York Live Arts, New York, NY. Phillips resides in his birthplace of Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn.


The Year of Uncertainty artist residencies and community partnerships are made possible by generous support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Lambent Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation.


Major funding for the Queens Museum is generously provided by the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.