Susan Hiller's 'Lost and Found' on view at Kestner Gesellschaft
19 April 2021
Following a virtual opening ceremony on 17 April, Susan Hiller's 2016 film work Lost and Found is now on view at the Kestner Gesellschaft in Hannover, alongside a special presentation of her First Aid: Homage to Joseph Beuys (1969-2016) installation for an exhibition celebrating Beuys' centenary.
Commissioned by Pérez Art Museum, Miami and included in Documenta 14, Lost and Found is an audio collage of voices that recite anecdotes, songs, and memories in 23 different languages. The languages are extinct or nearly extinct, including Aramaic and Livonian. The recorded voices are accompanied by subtitles and an oscillating line that visualizes the sound waves. Viewers thus gain access to the different worlds of the speakers and are connected to them across time and space, through the physical experience of sound. In her works, Susan Hiller combines an archaeological approach with an interest in the collective subconscious and in a cultural memory that is expressed not least through language.
For over 40 years, Susan Hiller collected holy water from sacred sites, wells and streams around the world and exhibits her samples in glass bottles in antique felt-lined medicine cabinets. First Aid: Homage to Joseph Beuys is an example from this series that references both the way Beuys, who believed in the healing power of nature and spirituality, imbued ordinary materials with sacred values, and persistent beliefs in popular culture. The manner of presentation also relates to Joseph Beuys' penchant for presenting special things in vitrines.
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