Working Through Objects

Today Was an eventful day learning about susan hiller and the way she approached art with her anthropological , freudian , psychological and paranormal – esque way .

One of her pieces was on dream mapping . She asked some people to sleep in some fairy rings of mushrooms , to

One of her pieces involved Dream Mapping, in 1973 , it was an art event provocatively poised between an experiment (social or scientific) and a performance without an audience. Seven dreamers slept for three nights inside “fairy rings” in an English meadow marked by an abundance of circles formed naturally by Marasmius oreades mushrooms, a landscape feature that occurs in a number of British folk myths. The field became a site for dream experiences which were discussed and mapped the following morning. The dream maps of each participant were collected and copied onto transparent paper, sandwiched together, and traced to compile a composite group map for each night. A number of shared features were noted.

Another was , The sisters of Menon which involved automatic writing with blue pen on pieces of paper to express the subconscious thoughts . This is deemed as mythological and paranormal and was popular amongst surrealists in the dada movement . What is important is how we understand the marks and how we decode them .

In susan hiller book she says ” I take it that any conscious configuration of objects tells a story ” . I interpret what she says as meaning the artists interpretation of his piece of work is important and this is one of two storys involved in the work . The artists narration and what he thinks he is telling the audience and also the viewers interpretation as to how he sees the work . As in semiotics the work ( signs it consists of ) can be seen differently across cultures , sex , gender , social class and national identity etc .

Susan also says ” The only value these things ( objects ) have is that i have assigned some value to them ” . She is trying to say that cheap meaningless objects can suddenly become valuable and gain strong meaning from being placed somewhere as with her piece in the freudian museum . These cheap meaningless objects suddenly gain a very strong aura from there place of installation and thus gain value and relevant substance .

With freuds and his collections of artefacts in the freudian museum , each one was a representation of an important notion of the past that was relevant to himself . Memory is connected to the object and adds this profound sense of value and understanding . We add the interpretation to them ourselves from important life events or ideas and past experiences we hold dear and important to ourselves and thus make them more valuable and substantial in our minds .


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