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Cecile Johnson

(b New York, March 7, 1942).

British installation artist of American birth. She studied Mesoamerican archaeology and anthropology, tribal art, and linguistics, and conducted anthropological, fieldwork in Central America before moving to London and taking British residency in 1967. From the early 1970s Hiller included social, anthropological, and feminist concerns within her persistent questioning of traditional artistic notions of authorship, subject-matter, and methodology, which she articulated using painting, sculpture, sound, printed texts, video, photography, and drawing in numerous large-scale installations. Dedicated to the Unknown Artists (1972–6; exh. Brighton, U. Sussex, Gardner A. Cent., 1976) consisted of 305 ‘rough sea’ postcards collected by the artist from England, Scotland, and Wales, with accompanying charts and notes exploring the relationship between the linguistic description and visual depiction of ‘rough seas’. Photographed anonymously, the uncredited postcards were seen by Hiller as cultural artefacts, and her role as that of a collaborator who relocates them in an (installational) art context with her detailed document recording the entire process. Later works include the installation ...