I particularly enjoy the work of Susan Hiller, I enjoy her aesthetic, I enjoy her approach. She works with cultural artefacts in an anthropological and archaeological way; often cleanly presenting them as works transported but not transformed. Her work suggests to me celebration of the museum and its presentation objects, allowing them to speak, while also critique of how we present and interpret knowledge and truth. There is something of the scientific approach to objects – how they are handled, labeled, ordered – and a great deal of poetry too. I particularly enjoy her Homage to Yves Klein and Homage to Joseph Beuys. There is something funny and tender about these dedications and like much of her work, they are part of a wider conversation about temporality and interpretation/presentation.

This is one of the works in homage to Yves Klein. All of them feature impossible photographs are individual people appearing to hover – a reference to Klein’s famous Leap Into The Void. However, these photographs have more in common with the faked paranormal photographs of the late 19th century; these photographs are of people floating, not people falling. Nevertheless, there is something poetic in the paradox: the impossibility of flying, and the photographic ‘proof’ of it.

I have been considering the idea of document as proof. Even with the ease of digital manipulation, we are inclined to believe photographic evidence, as we are inclined to accept any official document or written information.

I enjoy work that questions itself, work that simply cannot be, yet still is. It is not a matter of truth, but of truths. Just as it is not a matter of history, but of histories.

 

 

 

 

 

James Sirrell