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Susan Hiller Exhibition at Tate Britain

March 5, 2011

Last week I went to see the Susan Hiller Exhibition at Tate Britain and it was excellent, one of my favourite  shows of this year. I’m currently writing a critical essay on Hiller, which I shall post in due time. The pieces I found most interesting and inspiring were “Witness” (2000), From the Freud Museum (1991-6) and The J-street Project (2002-5).  All are completly different, but all were totally amazing and I really connected with them.

Witness was a large instillation of hanging speakers in a dark room, each one playing a recording of peoples alien encounters. It was really interesting listening to the stories, and all had similar things in them. It was a very atmospheric piece, but a little chilling at the same time.

From the Freud Museum was another instillation, but of a more formal kind. Different objects housed in boxes were labelled and on display behind a glass cabinet. This linkes directly with the work I’m making right now, and I find it a really appealing way of displaying objects. I also liked that the objects themselves appeard random yet they were all interesting in their onw way. Ouija boards, photographs, statues, records; 50 items in boxes. “Shards of memories archived in instinctive combinations of meaning”

The J-street Project is a film which has 303 clips of street names. All are from Germany and all have “Jude” in the name – meaning Jew – “Judenstrasse” or “Judeengasse”. Upon further research I learnt that in previous showings of this piece, their has been a map showing the names in relation to the rest of Germany, a set of framed photographs, and a list of all the names.

Other works I liked included “Hand Grenade” (1972), “The tao of Water; Hommage to Joseph Beurs” (1969 -2010) and “Monument” (1980-1)

The exhibition was well worth seeing and it’s highly likely I’ll be back to see it again before it finishes on 15th may.

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