Jean-Luc Nancy and Phillip Warnell, Strasbourg 2009.

Warnell has produced three films and one photo-work with Jean-Luc Nancy. Their collaborations commenced in 2007 with the production of a group portrait (which didn't quite take place) around the sole surviving example of Franz Mesmer's uncanny 'baquet', housed in Lyon. Strapped to the device, a kind of parlour room uncanny self-diagnosis would take place, each participant holding a skeletal, metal arm protruding from the vat, containing magnetised water. Ultimately, the baquet supposedly caused bodily transparency, and with it promoted an ability towards group therapeutic aims.

In 2009 Warnell and Nancy made Outlandish: Strange Foreign Bodies which featured a text specially written for the film by Nancy of the same name. Nancy himself is an onscreen presence in the film, reading the text in a series of episodic passages. The project also featured a co-authored artists’ book, ‘Outlandish’. 

In 2014 they made Ming of Harlem: twenty one storeys in the air, to which Nancy contributed a 101 line poem, 'Oh, the language animals'. The poem works as an insert in the film, voiced by composer Hildur Gudnadottir. The poem has been reproduced in numerous books/publications, including ‘Animals’ (MIT/Whitechapel contemporary art docs, editor Filipa Ramos). 

In 2017 a third film was released, The Flying Proletarian, in which Nancy also contributed an original text, ‘Canton’. The film features a voice-over/character, delivering the text intermittently during the film.

Warnell has written a number of book chapters and texts on their collaborations and film works, including a recently submitted PhD (by prior publication, 2019) titled 'Anatomy of the Incorporeal'.



Placebo (with Mesmer's baquet), photographic slide projection, 2007
Photographic slide projection and lightbox guide (see Installations)
Exhibited at Leamington Spa Museum & Art Gallery, 300m3 gallery Gothenburg