For dOCUMENTA (13) Susan Hiller has devised a sculptural presentation of her personal collection of songs relating to political freedom. Five jukeboxes situated in different bars or cafes around the town of Kassel allow members of the public to select songs according to their own interests, preferences, memories, and beliefs. Music included ranges from songs inspired by the Peasants Revolt of 1524–26, the suffragettes movement, the Warsaw Ghetto uprising, the Civil Rights movement, and the recent revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia.
Die Gedanken sind frei is an old German song celebrating freedom of thought and conscience. Hiller’s long-standing interest in aural experience and the power of voice to communicate directly on many levels has led the artist to produce this new work which follows on from The Last Silent Movie (2007–08) and The J. Street Project (2002–05) in its commitment to the retrieval of lost or obscured historical ‘ghosts’.