chapter  8
19 Pages

Susan Hiller, Automatic Writing and Images of Self

Susan Hiller is an artist whose work stems from the 1970s when alternative media were used to question traditional assumptions about art production and when ‘conceptual’ art had a political edge in opening up debates about representation and meaning. 1 Hiller has a particular interest in language and its relation to gender. She explores the hidden meanings of the written and manufactured signs that we produce in our culture which she sees as manifestations of secret desires and fears. She is fascinated by the repetition of archetypes which to her signal a collective unconscious repressed or explained away by convention and ritual behaviour. She wishes to investigate the interconnections between the rational and irrational worlds. In all these issues she sees gender used as the basis for interpretation and she questions these gendered assumptions.