Hans-Ulrich Obrist Hear Us: Featuring Bill Burns


Hans-Ulrich Obrist Hear Us: Featuring Bill Burns


22 × 15 cm | 6 × 9 in
123 ills | 224 pages

Editor: Bill Burns
Contributors: Dan Adler, Jennifer Allen, Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda

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A collection of writings exploring the transgressive and transdisciplinary nature of Bill Burns’ practice, richly illustrated with material representing his work across photography, performance, writing and artists’ books. 

Perhaps best known for his Safety Gear for Small Animals (SGSA) project, which was first shown at 303 Gallery in New York in 1994, conceptual artist Bill Burns works across a variety of disciplines to reveal the perpetual power play between natural orders and cultural formations.

In her foreword to the publication, Dannys Montes de Oca Moreda recognises that the after-effect of Burns’ work is deeply disillusioning, breaking up and foreclosing the harmonious unity of identity, micro and macrocosmic alike. Curator and art historian Dan Adler draws attention to the intrinsic satire informing Burns’ work: a fondness for revering the meaningless while casting doubt on the venerable. Lastly, art critic Jennifer Allen uncovers some of the forces at work within Burns’ narrativisation of his personal life and reflection on his role as an artist, asserting that the act of forgetting is structural to Burns’ overall narrative composition.

Hans-Ulrich Obrist Hear Us also includes a first-person narrative by Burns, telling the story of his life through episodes that, although seemingly incongruous, have played a formative role in the development of the artist’s career. This history, like memory, is less contiguous than spontaneous, more preoccupied with prophecies and mood swings than the sterileness of factuality.