RCA talks

Visual Cultures Lecture Series – Susan Hiller & Sarah Wilson: A Conversation

2 December 2014 | 6.30pm – 8pm

Battersea, Gorvy Lecture Theatre

Free admission, booking required.

For this Visual Cultures lecture Susan Hiller and Sarah Wilson will discuss Hiller’s recent projects. 

Emerging in the early 1970s, after initially studying as an anthropologist, Susan Hiller is now one of the most influential artists of her generation. Hiller’s output has taken many different forms, and frequently derives from a process of collecting, cataloguing, restaging, and transforming cultural artefacts and experiences as a means of exploring the subconscious and unconscious mind. Hiller’s practice has infused conceptual and minimalist strategies and aesthetics with the influence of feminism, popular culture and psychoanalysis, creating works in a diverse range of media: notably sculpture, performance, video, photography, drawing and installation. 'To enquire, and to transform,' these are the leitmotifs that run throughout Hiller’s oeuvre over a 30 year period, according to curator James Lingwood, who continues, 'In a remarkably consistent way, Hiller has sustained an open-ended enquiry into the elusive nature of our selves, the forces at work in the making and re-making of subjectivity and its potential for transformation.'

 In 2011, Tate Britain presented a major survey exhibition which provided a timely focus on a selection of her key works, from assembled postcard images made in the 1970s to her pioneering mixed-media installations and video projections. The exhibition focused on Hiller’s interest in the subconscious or unconscious mind, whether in the form of dreams and memories or as supernatural or visionary experiences. Highlights included the menacing video installation An Entertainment, 1990 and the compelling audio-sculpture Witness, 2000, alongside many other examples of her extraordinary and diverse practice. 

Hiller has exhibited extensively. Recent solo exhibitions include Channels, Adelaide Festival, Adelaide (2014), Matts Gallery, London, UK and Centre d’art contemporain La Synagogue de Delme, France (2013); From Here to Eternity, Kunsthalle Nürnberg (2012); Tate Britain, London (2011); and Susan Hiller: Recall – A Selection of Works 1969 — 2004, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead; travelling to Museu Serralves, Porto (all 2004) and Kunsthalle Basel (2005). Hiller has been included in many group exhibitions and projects, including: MIRRORCITY, Hayward Gallery London (2014), Voix, Toulouse Festival, France (2014), True Colors, Yebisu International Art Festival, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, Japan (2014), dOCUMENTA [13], Kassel (2012); September 11, MOMA/PS1, New York, USA (2011) and the Moscow Biennale, Russia (2011). Susan Hiller is represented in numerous international public collections including the Tate, London; Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Deutsche Bundestag Art Collection, Berlin; Moderna Museet, Stockholm; and the UBS Collection Zurich. She lives and works in London. 

Sarah Wilson is an art historian and curator whose interests extend from postwar and Cold War Europe and the USSR to contemporary global art. She was educated at the University of Oxford (English Literature) and at The Courtauld. Recent publications include The Visual World of French Theory, 2010 and Picasso/Marx and Socialist Realism in France, 2013. From 2012-2013 she held a chaire d’excellence at the Université de Versailles-Saint Quentin where her project ‘Globalisation before Globalisation : Modernisms, Academies, Revolutions’ has so far established contacts with Russian and Chinese Fine Arts academies and intends to rewrite and rethink the standard ‘isms-based’ curriculum. She was principal curator of 'Paris, Capital of the Arts, 1900-1968’ (Royal Academy of Arts, London and Guggenheim Museum, Bilbao in 2001-2) and the Pierre Klossowski retrospective exhibition (with 'The Vicious Circle’) for the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (Ludwig Museum, Cologne, also 2006, Centre Pompidou, in 2007). Throughout her career she has worked with intellectuals and curators and artists from Europe, contributing to several Centre Pompidou catalogues, including Max Ernst, Kurt Schwitters, Face à l'histoire, Féminin-masculin, Le Sexe de l'art, Beaubourg La Trentaine, Traces du Sacré(2008), and Voids (2009). In 1997 she was made Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government for services to French art and culture. 

This lecture is almost fully booked You are more than welcome to come by on the day - If so, please arrive early - there is no guarantee of seated space. A screen will be placed outside the lecture theatre in the hall to allow extra audience to watch the talk. It will be broadcast live on this is tomorrow.