Monument by Susan Hiller
Not strictly printmaking, but interesting, inspiring and beautiful nonetheless. Susan Hiller’s work stood out to me on a recent visit to Leeds City Art Gallery. Her work seemed to have an assemblage quality to it, reminiscent to that of the art movement Fluxus.
The work was immediately eye-catching; it had what appeared to be a memorial bench inside a museum which completely threw me off guard. On closer inspection the inscription read ‘Susan Hiller, Monument, 1980-1’, it wasn’t dedicated to somebody who was deceased as I previously thought, but to the artist herself.
The wall on which the epitaphs were mounted attracted me, firstly because it made me question whether the curators had cut into it to display the pieces and secondly because of the hugeness and symmetrical presentation of the work. The whole installation seemed out of place, it was out of the ordinary and drew you in rather effortlessly. I was not the only one who was curious to see what this piece was all about and it struck a chord with others who were also admiring the work. Some of the epitaphs were funny, some were heart-wrenching, some spoke of heroic acts, and others of misfortunate incidents.
This work focuses on the dearly departed and does so with respect and dignity. I found the works compelling, moving and poetic; the work fitted into the environment and allowed you to be absorbed within it. Although I didn’t hear the audio that accompanied the piece, I enjoyed it greatly and will definitely be returning to hear it.