A New Exhibition Shows How What We Keep Becomes Who We Are
The ‘Billboard for Edinburgh’ project ran from 2008 - 2016, when the Gallery was situated in its Calton Road premises and transformed a defunct billboard on the end wall of the building. The Billboard installation would change every three months and from each a limited edition print would be published. The list of contributors includes Turner Prize nominees and winners and artists with world renowned reputations alongside emerging talents.
Susan Hiller’s Homage to Marcel Duchamp is an archive of “aura photographs” that the artist has amassed over a number of years. The reference to Duchamp originates from the 1910 portrait of his friend Dr. Dumouchel in which vibrating colours follow the contours of the doctorʼs body and a luminous white band radiates from his healing hands. Hiller interprets this work as “an aura study in the clairvoyant tradition”.
The modern aura photograph is a product of a technique perfected in the 1970s by Guy Coggins. At the same time as a person’s photograph is taken, electrical frequencies are measured from the subject’s hand. These frequencies are then translated into colour equivalents by a computer attached to the camera.
In this print, Hiller’s combines eight found “aura photographs” exploring our desire to experience, record, and classify spectral phenomena.
Publisher: Ingleby Gallery
Susan Hiller’s diverse body of work examines subjects ranging from feminism to popular culture to psychoanalysis, though the artist attests that she consistently combines “a Minimalist aesthetic with a Surrealist sensibility.” Hiller’s seminal work Dedicated to the Unknown Artists (1972-76) consists of 305 vintage postcards of rough seas arranged in a grid formation, accompanied by charts and the postcards’ captions. Hiller said of the title, “I assumed that the unknown artists were women who did the hand tinting of all these postcards.” Hiller has also created a series of homage works dedicated to artistic and cultural figures such as Gertrude Stein, Marcel Duchamp, Yves Klein, and, repeatedly, Joseph Beuys, constituting an investigation into the cult of the artist and the celebration of the artistic “genius.”
American, b. 1940, Tallahassee, Florida, based in London, United Kingdom