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Several Silences

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Several Silences

5811 S. Ellis Avenue
Chicago, IL 60637
April 26th, 2009 - June 7th, 2009

QUICK FACTS
WEBSITE:  
http://www.renaissancesociety.org
NEIGHBORHOOD:  
South Side
EMAIL:  
info@renaissancesociety.org
PHONE:  
(773) 702-8670
OPEN HOURS:  
Tue-Fri 10-5; Sat-Sun 12-5
ARTS ORGANIZATION:  
Siemens Arts Program
COST:  
free of charge

DESCRIPTION

  Titled after an essay by the late philosopher and literary theoretician Jean-Francois Lyotard, Several Silences is a group exhibition exploring various kinds of silence. As a discourse, the aesthetic of silence has been thoroughly domesticated within the visual arts. Although silence as a discourse in art arose out of conditions calling for the negation of art, it has subsequently become familiar subject matter no longer operating as the avant-garde ideal it once was. This is not to say silence has lost significance. If anything, it has become a more potent antidote to a culture of distraction. Silence, however, is not the absence of communication. It is dialectically opposed to communication, so that one sustains and supports the other. Inextricably bound to communication, which it tacitly evokes, silence itself is a form of communication with many meanings. There are voluntary and involuntary silences--some comfortable, others not. There is Cage's silence, which calls for the distinction between clinical and ambient silences. There is silence as conscious omission or redaction. And then there is memorial silence.