Susan Hiller

Pendant trois ans, elle a eu la même approche artistique : elle a « traqué », « recherché » des mots et  a pris en photo des lieux, des monuments, des rues, des parcs en Allemagne où il était écrit ce mot « jude » (ou aussi « jew »). Les divers références aux juifs ont été supprimées lors de l’arrivée d’Hitler au pouvoir et n’ont été remises progressivement en place qu’après la deuxième guerre mondiale.

Elle a écrit :  » [The project] began as a chance encounter with Berlin street called « Jüdenstrasse» (Jew Street) in 2002. when I first noticed the street sign, I was shocked, astonished but most of all, confused. Ihad a powerful, mixed reaction, a feeling that althought the name was claerly meant as a respectful commemoration, in fact, what is being commomorated is a complicated history involving racism, segrecgation, and violence. Looking at the street sign, it seemed to me there was a strange ambiguity in retaining or restoring the name of a street commemorating people who had been exterminated within living memory.[...] Each photograph is numbered and a correlating index of the place-name is displayed with a map, demonstrating the reach of the Jewish communities throughout Germany befor their decimation. »

The J.Street Project, 2002-2005, [1]


Site officiel de l’artiste:

Art des nouveaux media :, 1996

site interactif : il n’y a rien à voir mais tout à écouter ! The project was first launched in 1996. It was originally programmed in HTML and Real Audio, and was re-programmed in 2005 in Flash to preserve the work`s functionality and enhance its audio quality.


Elle a fait dernièrement un hommage à Joseph Beuys :

Susan Hiller,Genuine Essence: Homage to Joseph Beuys 1969 – 2009

felt-lined wooden cabinet, 45 cm x 35 cm x 15 cm; containing 60 bottles of various sizes
filled with water I collected from sacred sources around the world

Et voici ces propos :

I met Joseph Beuys only once, when Sandy Nairn introduced me to him at the ICA in 1974. Everyone knows about his work or rather his attitude towards art, life, and everything else. The little bottles of water in my piece refer to the way he made symbolic use of matter-of-fact materials, sacramentalizing everyday activities and storing up energy in ordinary objects.

When I collect water from a holy well or sacred spring, I’m in the process of trying to turn banal tourism into a quest or pilgrimage. The waters supposedly produce powerful effects for believers, but what I treasure is the special mental space created by searching for them and thinking about them. These little bottles of waters are more than just souvenirs; they are containers of an idea about the potentials hidden in ordinary things and experiences.



[1] photos extraites du catalogue de l’exposition « Memories for tomorrow », 6 juin au 19 juillet 2008 au musée d’art de Shanghai.



cindy t