Barry Spinello in person. Experimental filmmakers engage silence in a variety of ways in this collection of shorts. Includes Maya Derens Meshes of the Afternoon, Stan Brakhages The Riddle of the Lumen, Nathaniel Dorskys Threnody, Nam June Paiks Zen for Film, Steve Rodens four words for four hands, and Barry Spinellos Soundtrack. (85 mins)
Presented in conjunction with our series The Sounds of Silence
John Cage famously asserted that there is no such thing as silence or empty space: There is always something to see, something to hear. Inspired by Cages 1952 noise-cancelling composition 433, the exhibition Silence considers the absence of sound as both subject and medium in modern and contemporary art and film. With a tranquil array of painting, sculpture, and installation from the past one hundred years, Silence fills the galleries with a critically conceived quiet. But what of silence and the moving image? In the absence of intentional film sound, silence can become a reasoned but imperfect lack, expressing timbres at once aesthetic, revelatory, and sensorial. The Sounds of Silence concerns itself not with so-called silent cinema, but with different variants of quiet, from the hushed absolute of no-sound to a more muted mise-en-scène. The program A Kind of Hush comprises representative silent works from the avant-garde. Such practitioners as Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, and Nathaniel Dorsky weigh in as advocates of differing quietudes. The avant-garde surfaces again but in full sonority with Sourcing Sound, a compilation of works by such artists as Stephen Vitiello, Rudy Lemcke, Robert Russett, and Semiconductor in which sound and image are initiated often from a single motivating source. Silence as a more cultural construct surfaces in several feature films: Bergmans masterful The Silence describes the terrible quiet left behind by Gods absence, Pat Collinss wind-swept Silence follows an audio recordist as he reconnects with the source of sound, and Philip Grönings reverential Into Great Silence closely portrays the muted days of an alpine monastery of silent monks. Philosophical, fundamental, or just faint, silence is beauty in the ear of the beholder.
$9.50 Adults, $5.50 BAM/PFA members, UC Berkeley Students, $6.50 UC Berkeley faculty, non UCB students, seniors, youth, and disabled