J. Street Project
J. Street Project is the culmination of three years extensive photographic and video documentation undertaken by Susan Hiller during her residency in Germany between 2002-2005.
Hiller describes how, during her time in Germany, she unintentionally discovered, much to her own surprise, that a street name read ‘Judenstrasse’ (Jew Street). Affronted by the fact that such a name had been preserved in light of the killings of its former residents during WWII; Hiller, with the aid of her husband set about researching every street name throughout Germany, highlighting those that used comparable language. In total Hiller catalogued 303 such road names ‘Judendorf’, ‘Judenhof’, ‘Judenweg’ and ‘Judengasse’ and documented each place collating short film clips and photographs, building a catalogue of images.
‘The images are haunted by the signs: literally signs of people who are no longer there, whose lives were destroyed. To witness them all together is to feel the past rise up...you want to shout 'Look! Don't you see them?' As if you were suddenly able to see ghosts’ (Laura Cummings, The observer, 2005)
The project resulted in a 67 minute film of combined static shots from the locations of each sign as well as a photographic installation.
To watch the artist in conversation at the Contemporary Jewish Museum discussing J. Street Project please click here.
From the Freud Museum
From the Freud Museum produced between 1991– 1996 is a continuation of a work originally created for the Freud Museum in 1994. Inspired by Freud’s extensive ethnographic collections, Hiller produced an installation of 50 archival boxes displaying randomly paired objects from her own life, brought together by nothing more than the artist's own instinct. The obscure relationship between objects placed in such close proximity encourages viewers to reflect on the many diverse narratives that may link such items. The ambiguity of the piece opens up a subtle questioning of the authenticity of cataloguing methods and museum displays in the production of knowledge.
'Sigmund Freud’s impressive collection of classical art and artefacts inspired me to formalise and focus my project. But if Freud’s collection is a kind of index to the version of Western civilisation’s heritage he was claiming, then my collection taken as a whole, is an archive of misunderstandings, crises, and ambivalences that complicate any such notion of heritage.’ Susan Hiller
Gallagher, Ann. Susan Hiller. London: Tate, 2011
Hiller, Susan. Susan Hiller. London: Tate Gallery Publishing, 1996
Hiller, Susan; Lippard, Lucy R. Thinking about art: conversations with Susan Hiller. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996
Susan Hiller: recall: selected works 1969-2004. Malkin, Gary. DVD. English. Gateshead: BALTIC, 2004
Hiller, Susan. After the Freud Museum. 2nd ed. London: Book Works, 2000
Images in order of appearance
Susan Hiller Portrait: http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2011/jan/30/susan-hiller-tate-britain-...
From the Freud Museum: