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Susan Hiller

Small Study for “Homage to Marcel Duchamp”

Published by Ingleby Gallery as part of the Billboard for Edinburgh print series.

Susan Hiller’s Homage to Marcel Duchamp is an archive of “aura photographs” that the artist has amassed over a number of years. The reference to Duchamp originates from the 1910 portrait of his friend Dr. Dumouchel in which vibrating colours follow the contours of the doctorʼs body and a luminous white band radiates from his healing hands. Hiller interprets this work as “an aura study in the clairvoyant tradition”.

The modern aura photograph is a product of a technique perfected in the 1970s by Guy Coggins. At the same time as a person’s photograph is taken, electrical frequencies are measured from the subject’s hand. These frequencies are then translated into colour equivalents by a computer attached to the camera.

In this print, Hiller’s combines eight found “aura photographs” exploring our desire to experience, record, and classify spectral phenomena.


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