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 Susan Hiller, Joseph Beuys, Lisson Gallery
Photo Special: Susan Hiller's Homage To Joseph Beuys At Lisson Gallery - ArtLyst Article image

Photo Special: Susan Hiller's Homage To Joseph Beuys At Lisson Gallery

16-12-2015
 
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Artlyst recently attended Susan Hiller’s latest exhibition at the Lisson Gallery, to experience the artist’s investigations into the unconscious and the paranormal in works that hold belief and disbelief in equal tension.

In the artist’s debut exhibition at Lisson Gallery, Hiller is presenting a number of recently discovered early pieces as well as celebrated classics and new works made this year. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition in London since her Tate retrospective of 2011.

Image: Susan Hiller, Wild Talents, Video Installation, 1997, Lisson Gallery. Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

The artist's investigation into belief and the unconscious is continued in works that celebrate other artists. Emergency Case: Homage to Joseph Beuys (1969–2011) presents first-aid cabinets containing miniature phials filled with water taken from holy wells and streams, referencing both Beuys’s ability to endow ordinary materials with sacred values and persistent popular myths.

Image: Susan Hiller, Emergency Case: Homage to Joseph Beuys 2012, 13 wooden felt-lined first aid cabinets, containing bottles of holy water and vintage first aid supplies, Lisson Gallery. Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Artlyst's favourite piece in the exhibition has to be Wild Talents, a vast installation from 1997, incorporating two wall-sized projections, a small TV set and a ring of votive lights. The large screens mine the horror film genre to explore fantasies of occult powers in young children, while the small screen simultaneously shows documentary material from a pilgrimage to visit children who have had authenticated religious visions.

Image: Susan Hiller, Wild Talents, Video Installation, 1997, Lisson Gallery. Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

This juxtaposition suggests a cultural continuity in different registers of this belief in miraculous powers. Resounding (Infrared) (2013) locates first-hand reports from people who have seen or claim to have seen unidentified flying objects, mysterious lights in the sky and other unexplained phenomena within a mesmerising backdrop of sound frequencies and visual patterns translated from the Big Bang and other cosmic phenomena, linking cosmology, dreams and contemporary visionary experiences.

Image: Susan Hiller, Wild Talents, Video Installation, 1997, Lisson Gallery. Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Lead Image: Susan Hiller, Emergency Case: Homage to Joseph Beuys 2012, 13 wooden felt-lined first aid cabinets, containing bottles of holy water and vintage first aid supplies, Lisson Gallery. Photo: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Photos: P A Black © Artlyst 2015.

Susan Hiller – Lisson Gallery – until 9 January 2016.


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