A lot of science fictional scenarios turn out to be matters of faith, judging from the work of American-born conceptual art pioneer Susan Hiller. You either believe in them, or you don't. Her new show, which just opened in London, includes faked photos of people levitating. Another Hiller show (pictured above) includes tons of UFO-shaped earpieces dangling from the ceiling, in which you can hear people describe their UFO abductions. A gallery of weird levitations and ghostly trips to Mars awaits, below.
I love those faked levitation pics, they're just so goofy. They're a tribute to artist Yves Klein, who famously photographed himself levitating in the 1960s. (The photo was faked, just like Hiller's.) Hiller's new show also includes a weird piece called "From Here To Eternity," a collection of nonsensical looking mazes with diferent colored dots in them. There's also a collection of pictures of people's personal auras, spoofing the idea that a special camera can capture someone's personal aura or nimbus. A past work, "From India To The Planet Mars," consists of weird, ghostly photo negatives. Also, says the Guardian, the new exhibition includes:
Films, buzzing installations, galleries full of strange noises, miniature miscellanies like the ever-popular "From the Freud Museum," with all its queer little boxes full of improbable objects - each time, she bypasses the banalities of scientific proof to examine the greater conundrum of faith. We say we don't believe and yet are fascinated by the very phenomena we claim to doubt. During the course of this show, for instance, you will find yourself pondering the potent beauty of tarot symbols, the formality of automatic writing, the rhythms of seances and assorted paranormal images. Whatever your belief or bias, it will be rearranged as Hiller's art begins to absorb you. Take a classic like Magic Lantern, which takes the form of a son et lumiere. On screen, discs of primary colours overlap, merge, materialise and fade in a continuous flow of images and after-images - dark suns, blue moons - that hypnotise the eye. On headphones, you hear bursts of speech in foreign languages that are supposedly the voices of the dead caught on tape by a Latvian scientist.
But my favorite of her works is probably the UFO survivors one, just for how bizarre and spacey the dangling earpieces look. It's conceptual art at its most jarring, and maybe its truest as well. The exhibition, "Proposals and Demonstrations," runs until the end of the year. [Guardian and Guardian]