memory. language, art. wittgenstein. books. ceramics.

all sorts of thinkings on memory, language, art, wittgenstein, books, etc, while I am getting on with my MA

Thursday 10 February 2011

Normal paranormal: Susan Hiller @ Tate Britain

I am not the kind of person who would sleep in the fairy rings when sober. I would also not seek aliens or ghost voices. I do not believe in full moon or the twelve signs of Zodiac. I like science and all the nerdy things that come with it.

Susan Hiller's exhibition at Tate has ghosts, dreams and all other otherworldly things: an unusual vehicle for the ideas. If Hiller intended to create a tension with that - she succeeded well for me - I am still struggling trying to consider her dream maps without an irony.

Other than my struggle to deal with the paranormal - the show is beautifully curated: a remarkable feast for eyes, ears and mind. Starting with the burnt paintings (which is what I was going to do with my last year's work), onto the wave postcards, the fire, through to the Freud's cabinet, the auras (yep, I like even those), the bottles. What I loved most, is the pieces where her past as an anthropologist comes through: artefacts collected and documented, arranged and ordered. Now they highlight that,what has always been there, but got lost between the familiar and stagnant meaning associations. She creates imaginary taxonomies - or our desire to make sense of things creates imaginary taxonomies - that otherwise would have not been grouped together. Well - I need to read more about her systems. Fascinating!

This is her older interview.

This major survey exhibition at Tate Britain will provide a timely focus on a selection of her key works, including many of the pioneering mixed-media installations and video projections for which she is best known. It will be the largest presentation of her work to date, providing a unique opportunity to follow her exploration of dreams, memories and supernatural phenomena across a career of almost four decades.

The exhibition is curated by Ann Gallagher, Head of Collections (British Art), Tate, with Sofia Karamani, Assistant Curator, Tate Britain. The exhibition will be accompanied by a richly illustrated catalogue published by Tate Publishing.