Repost: Shelly Silver and The Grand Finale
September 26, 2008
Fast forwarding to the last night of the festival, works by Tommy Mintz, Lilly McElroy and Shelly Silver comprise the program for Friday, September 26th. These three artists use video to document transient moments on city streets, subsequently allowing viewers unique and varied perspectives of human interaction (or lack thereof) in a metropolis. Mintz sells his Public Toilet Map in Times Square; McElroy gives unsolicited hugs on the streets of Chicago; and Silver (along with her crew) conduct street interviews throughout New York City, asking rather simple questions that result in a complex and often humorous narrative about the current political and economic climate. Silver’s brilliant feature-length documentary, titled in complete world (2008), will close the festival; this is only the second public screening of the artist’s most recent work.
Silver is a New York based artist whose work spans a wide range of subject matters and genres in her exploration of personal and societal relations that connect and restrict us; the indirect routes of pleasure and desire; the stories that are told about us and the stories we construct about ourselves.
in complete world takes the tension between individual and collective responsibility as its focus and mixes political questions like “Are we responsible for the government we get?” with more broadly existential ones, such as “Do you feel you have control over your life?” and “Are you satisfied?”
Silver says, “The film can be seen as a user’s manual for citizenship in the, as well as a glimpse into the opinions and self-perceptions of a diverse group of Americans. It is a testament to the people of NYC in this new millennium, who freely offer up thoughtful, provocative and at times tender revelations to a complete stranger, just because she asked.”
Silver has exhibited at local and international venues, including MoMA, The PompidouCenter, The Kyoto Museum, the London Institute of Contemporary Art, and the London, Singapore, New York, Moscow and Berlin Film Festivals. She attended Cornell University, graduating in 1980 with a B.A. in Intellectual History, and a B.F.A. in Mixed Media. She subsequently attended the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. Silver currently teaches at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Sciences and in the MFA Department of Photography and Related Media, School of Visual Arts.