This highly technical installation by artist Susan Hiller features 400 speakers suspended from the ceiling, simultaneously running audio of different people recounting their extraterrestrial encounters. The exhibited work titled Witness offers an out-of-this world experience. The constructed piece itself resembles a celestial entity, adding to the astronomically alien sensation in the room. I imagine that hearing all of the voices communicate their observance of UFOs and other unearthly occurrences can be a bit overwhelming, as though you've stepped into an episode of The X Files.
One may laugh at the idea of a UFO sighting, but for the London-based artist there is a direct connection with these recorded sightings and religious faith. Hiller says, "Listening to these people whispering in your ears is like being a priest in a confessional. The whole piece is built upon the shape of the cross and the circle. There are four pathways where you can enter the inner circle of the installation...The religious symbolism of the cross in the circle is crucial because the stories are examples of contemporary visionary experience. Only today people see UFOs where once they saw angels."
You can watch a behind-the-scenes video of Hiller's installation being mounted at Tate Britain last year, below.
First photo via Fondazione Antonio Ratti
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