Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Susan Hiller @ Timothy Taylor

Went to see this at Timothy Taylor Gallery before it finished on 20th Dec. Good description courtesy of KultureFlash:

This unmissable show presents two recent works and several older pieces from the celebrated American artist whose practice has forged a singular path through the elusive phenomena of dreams, mysticism and the occult. Hiller's recent series of photographic works scrutinizes the occult legacies of modernist art, considered in light of their ongoing presence in popular culture. Aura: Homage To Marcel Duchamp, takes Duchamp's 1910 Portrait Of Dr R Dumouchel as the starting point for a series of portraits which use a special photography technique to create phantasmagoric auras around their subjects. In bringing attention to the "mystical" aspect within a work by a modern icon, Hiller offers an ironic play on Walter Benjamin's prediction of the modern artwork's loss of aura. Also showing is her celebrated 1987 work Magic Lantern, in which a slow-moving projection of coloured discs and a soundtrack of a scientist commenting on the phenomenon of the voices of the dead, along with the voices of deceased famous figures such as James Joyce, offers a skilful play on the boundary between the scientific and the irrational, illusion and reality. Our favourite is From Here To Eternity, 2008: three projected screens of geometric labyrinths within which coloured balls move slowly and hypnotically, the artwork casting its own curious spell.

The thing is - descriptions of her work sound so interesting and I was excited to see the exhibition and although I thought the aura photographs were clever and I did think the labyrinths were hypnotising, it didn't leave a big impression on me :( bit too much hype not enough 'wow' this really hits you as important work kind of thing. Made me think that I need to be careful to make good work not just lots of theories!!

No comments: