Tate Modern

Susan Hiller

Blavatnik Building Level 0
Susan Hiller, ‘Monument’ 1980–1
Susan Hiller, Monument 1980–1. Tate. © Susan Hiller

The installation Monument 1980–1 invites viewers to perform private acts of listening and remembering against the setting of a public memorial

Monument incorporates 41 photographs Hiller took of Victorian memorial plaques she came across in a London park. Each plaque commemorates an ordinary person who died while performing an act of heroism. On the bench set in front, visitors can listen to a commentary on death, memory and representation read by the artist.

Hiller’s work often takes what she terms ‘cultural artefacts’ as a starting point, focusing on ideas, events or objects that have mostly been ignored or forgotten. In the case of Monument, Hiller noticed that the commemorative tiles were usually overlooked by passers-by.

In Monument, Hiller also memorialises herself by choosing to include 41 photographs: one for each year of her life at the time she made the work. Her own voice also features in the audio commentary. She has said: ‘We could exist forever, inscribed, portrayed, as inscriptions, portraits, representations. I’m representing myself to myself … and for you, to you. This is my voice.’

Only one person at a time can listen to the recording, experiencing an intimate, one-on-one connection with the artist. Sitting with his or her back to the photographs, the listener faces the audience and is seen for a moment as part of the artwork.

Curated by Valentina Ravaglia

Venue

Tate Modern
Bankside
London SE1 9TG
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