london

Susan Hiller

Gimpel Fils

In 1972 Susan Hiller’s attempts at automatic writing resulted in texts apparently dictated by some external force. Plural, female, and rhapsodic, the “writers” called themselves “sisters of Menon.” In a script that was not her own, they beseeched Hiller to join their company. Their voices, which Hiller described as insistent, repetitive, personal, and punning, set up a paradoxical relationship between asserted existence and apparent insubstantiality (“I live my sister,” “the riddle is the sister of the zero”); it constantly switched from “I” to “we” to “everyone.”

As an artist, Hiller’s chosen task has often been to examine images or writing as evidence—fragments of Pueblo pottery, monumental inscriptions, postcards—in an attempt to reveal unacknowledged cultural assumptions while paying homage to the originals. In time the Menon texts have been treated in a similar way, providing Hiller

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