Over the course of a year the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart is presenting a monthly programme of films and videos by international established and emerging artists working in a documentary, experimental, essayistic or narrative style. During May, the screening will be by Sarah Browne: Carpet for the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, accompanied by the piece Letter to Eileen Gray, both 2009.
Shown under the heading »Silent« Cinema, the first instalment of the series is devoted to films and videos that focus on the moving image alone and deliberately eschew sound. Although art tends to be shaped by the technological possibilities of its time, artists do occasionally choose not to make full use of them or to adopt earlier modes of production and presentation. Moreover, the exclusion of the spoken word seems to make for universally comprehensible films and videos. The fact that silent movies were, of course, not invariably without sound, but often accompanied by live music, is alluded to by the inverted commas in the title.
What can happen in contemporary time-based art when it dispenses with sound? When silence envelops the viewer, leaving it to the images alone to affect, touch and challenge? These are the questions »Silent« Cinema seeks to investigate through works in which silence gives rise to wonder, to moments of intimacy and to alternate worlds.