Susan Hiller Interview: Stories from the Other Side



A cascade of voices belonging to people who have been declared physically dead, but lived to tell the story, comes together in a ghostlike installation of 104 screens. Experience the intriguing art installation by the influential American artist Susan Hiller.

‘Channels’, the installation artwork Hiller discusses, centres on death and near-death experiences. The 104 television screens, which the artwork consists of, are programmed with visuals in shades of blue – echoing the “screen of death” in computer terms and the “stand-by screen” in TV-terms – and a myriad of voices belonging to people who have had near-death experiences. The result is fascinating and somewhat uncanny.

Hiller is interested in investigating certain occurrences, such as near-death experiences, which have become subject to ridicule and even embarrassment: “The point is that the stories are there, and it’s worth looking into them.” The incidents furthermore seem to contradict the common belief that the brain is a source of consciousness or reality.

Susan Hiller (b. 1940) is an American London-based artist. In the early 1980s she began to make innovative use of audio and visual technology. Her groundbreaking installations, multi-screen videos and audio works have achieved international recognition and are widely acknowledged as a major influence on younger British artists. Hiller’s works are based on specific cultural artefacts from our society, which she uses as basic materials. With a practice extending over 40 years, she has been recognized by mid-career survey exhibitions at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts (1986), Tate Liverpool (1996) and Tate Britain (2011). For more about Susan Hiller see: http://www.susanhiller.org/

Susan Hiller was interviewed by Kasper Bech Dyg in connection with her exhibition ‘Channels’ at Den Frie Centre of Contemporary Art in Copenhagen, February 2015.

Camera: Kasper Kiertzner
Produced and edited by: Kasper Bech Dyg
Copyright: Louisiana Channel, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, 2015

Supported by Nordea-fonden

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