Hiller is very much an Installation artist, she works in a vast range of formats, whether it be audio, video, or even written, all have a part to play within her collection. Rather than her work being the sort that would be displayed in a home, it is more experimental, and although not aesthetically pleasing, it is definitely thought provoking and interesting, relying solely on the viewer to interpret it as they like. For example, ‘From the Freud Museum’ is a collection of personal items placed in groups and presented in boxes, each combination of items illustrates a memory, that without narrative is unknown to the viewer, who is left guessing.
Many of Hiller’s works are interactive, which often involve in this case, the viewer moving around the work to get a better feel or idea of it. I personally found that these interactive pieces were the most enjoyable of all. ‘An Entertainment’ is a synchronised four wall projection and is quite a frightening piece, the clips used are recorded from several punch and judy shows and the soundtrack is very loud and abrupt. overall it has quite a violent effect, Its purpose to evoke childhood fears. ‘Witness’ is another collection, this time of stories being told by people who have witnessed a U.F.O. The stories are told through hundreds of small speakers which hang from the ceiling, the voices are unrecognisable as voices, on the whole, the forest of speakers appears to be a low hum, until one single speaker is singled out and the story is audible. Although interesting, I did not find this an amazing experience, so I won’t be going to Hiller’s shows in the future.
Susan Hiller | Witness 2000 | Tate Britain Installation shot | Original commission Artangel © Susan Hiller. Photo: Tate Photography/Sam Drake