Susan Hiller (1940 – )
1940 Born in USA
1961 B.A., Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts
1965 M.A., Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
Travels extensively in Europe,North Africa, Asia
1969 Moves permanently to Great Britain; lives in Cornwall, Wales, Hampshire; settles in London
Susan Hiller began her artistic career in London in the early 1970s, when she first became known for an innovative artistic practice including group participation works such as Dream Mapping (1974); museological/archival installations such as Fragments (1978), Enquiries/Inquiries (1973 & 1975) and Dedicated to the Unknown Artists (1972/6); and many other works in a range of media exploring automatic writing, ESP, photomat machines, wallpaper, postcards and other denigrated aspects of popular culture.
The common denominator in all her works is their starting point in a cultural artefact from our own society. Her work is an excavation of the overlooked, ignored, or rejected aspects of our shared cultural production, and her varied projects collectively have been described as investigations into the 'unconscious' of culture.
Hiller cites Minimalism, Fluxus, aspects of Surrealism and her previous study of anthropology as major influences on her work. Her stature has been recognised by mid-career retrospectives at London's Institute of Contemporary Art (1986) and Tate Liverpool (1996) as well as by numerous solo exhibitions and monographs, and by inclusion in major international group exhibitions.
Susan Hiller has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including the Gulbenkenian Foundation Visual Artist's Award, (London 1977 & 1978); National Foundation for the Arts Fellowship (USA 1982); Visual Arts Board Travelling Fellowship (Australia 1982); Guggenheim Fellowship (USA 1998); and the DAAD Fellowship (Berlin 2002).
Susan Hiller represented Britain at the Havana Bienale in 2000 with her large installation 'Witness', which was commissioned by Artangel in collaboration with the British Council (see Susan Hiller: Havana Bienal. In 1985 she was included in The British Show, (Visual Arts Board of Australia/British Council touring exhibition) a major survey of the best of British at that time, which was toured by the British Council to several museums in Australia. In 1989/90 she was selected by the British Council as one of four artists in Lifelines: 4 British Artists, British Council/BASF Gallery, Ludwigshafen, Germany and Tate Gallery, Liverpool, alongside Helen Chadwick, Boyd Webb, Ian McKeever.
Susan Hiller served as Distinguished Visiting Professor of Fine Art at California State University, Long Beach in 1988; Visiting Arts Council Chair at UCLA, Los Angeles in 1991 and 1992 , Professor of Art at University of Ulster, Belfast 1986-91; and Baltic Professor of Fine Art at University of Newcastle 1999-2002.
Existing or coming into being at the same period; of today or of the present. The term that designates art being made today.
An artwork comprised of many and various elements of miscellaneous materials (see mixed media), light and sound, which is conceived for and occupies an entire space, gallery or site. The viewer can often enter or walk around the installation. Installations may only exist as long as they are installed, but can be re-created in different sites. Installation art emerged in the 1960s out of Environmental Art (works of art which are three-dimensional environments), but it was not until the 1970s that the term came into common use and not until the late 1980s that artists started to specialise in this kind of work, creating a genre of ‘Installation Art’. The term can also be applied to the arrangement of selected art works in an exhibition.