Like the ex-anthropologist she is, Hiller has coolly observed
the hysterical terrain of our culture’s paranoid imagination.
“Wild Talents” is a term coined by Charles Fort to
describe extraordinary human capabilities generally associated
with the paranormal. Hiller’s video and sound installation
employs dramatic wall-size projections to explore both the promise
and the threat of telekinetic powers in adolescent girls in the
popular imagination. Juxtaposing “acceptable” or even
holy otherworldly communication with voices tinged with the demonic,
Hiller questions the differences between mystical experiences
that fall either inside or outside validating religious institutions.
Echoing the cultural trope that young females are particularly
susceptible to control by malevolent forces, the girls in Hiller’s
piece represent the fear of the irrational by embodying or hosting
or being a conduit for the spirit of the other. Hiller’s
work explores the subjective boundaries between good and bad powers,
and in doing so reveals the deeply ingrained myths and prejudices
about the varieties of religious experience.
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