Fondazione Antonio Ratti

Susan Hiller

Dreamwork: an artist's perspective – Dream of Insomnia Workshop

17 February 2012
FAR – Villa Sucota

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Born in the USA in 1940, Susan Hiller has lived and worked in Britain since the early 1970s, when she became known for an innovative artistic practice excavating the overlooked or ignored aspects of our culture. She has adopted and combined media in ways radical for their time and she is acknowledged as an important influence on younger generations of artists.

Hiller cites Minimalism, Fluxus, aspects of Surrealism, anthropology and feminism as influences on her unique practice. She juxtaposes knowledge derived from anthropology, psychoanalysis and other scientific disciplines with materials generally considered unimportant, like postcards, wallpaper, popular movies and stories of UFO sightings, balancing the familiar and the unexplained and inviting the viewer to participate in the creation of meaning. She collects and uses images, objects and sounds to create new contexts, incorporating traces of memory, history, and personal allusions. Her practice often investigates subconscious processes, including dreaming, reverie, automatic writing and improvised vocalizations. Privileging the repressed, forgotten or unknown, Hiller analyzes, recontextualizes and confers status on what lies outside or beneath recognition.

One-person exhibitions of Susan Hiller's work were held at Tate, London; Castello di Rivoli, Turin; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; Joy Art Gallery, Beijing; Kunsthalle, Basel; Kunst-Raum des Deutschen Bundestages, Berlin; Museu Serralves, Porto; Fondacion Mendoza, Caracas and other public institutions.

Hiller has explored the intersections of memory, history and the unacknowledged in a number of publications. Her talks and interviews have been collected in two books: The Provisional Texture of Reality, published by JRP Ringier in 2008 and Thinking about Art: Conversations with Susan Hiller, published by Manchester University Press in 1996. She is the author of The J.street Project published by the DAAD and Compton Verney Trust, 2005 and After the Freud Museum, published by Bookworks Press in 1995, reprinted 2000.

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