Silence at BAM/PFA

Silence

January 30 – April 28, 2013 at Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific FIlm Archive

Giorgio de Chirico: Melancholia, 1916; oil on canvas; 20 x 26-1/2 in.; The Menil Collection, Houston.Photo: Hickey-Robertson, Houston

Giorgio de Chirico: Melancholia, 1916
Oil on canvas; 20 x 26-1/2 in.
The Menil Collection, Houston.
Photo: Hickey-Robertson, Houston

In today’s digitized world, silence is increasingly elusive. For composer John Cage, the absence of sound was not merely elusive, it was impossible. His groundbreaking composition4’33” contained no actual music, but instead called attention to the ambient sounds surrounding the performance and its audience. He asserted “there is always something to see, something to hear.” On the occasion of Cage’s hundredth birthday, Silence presents nearly a century of modern and contemporary art and film to examine the spiritual, existential, and political aspects of silence.

Co-organized by the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) and The Menil Collection in Houston, Silence presents a broad range of works, including iconic pieces by Joseph Beuys, Giorgio de Chirico, Marcel Duchamp, René Magritte, Christian Marclay, Robert Rauschenberg, Doris Salcedo, Andy Warhol, and many other leading artists.

BAM/PFA’s presentation of Silence features a host of public programs, including an opening conversation between Toby Kamps, curator of modern and contemporary art at the Menil Collection, and UC Berkeley psychology professor Dacher Keltner; a three-part series of Sunday morning meditations in the galleries; performances by sound artists Jacob Kirkegaard and Loren Chasse; and a series of L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFAevents inspired by the theme of silence.

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