Toby Kamps, Steve Seid
Yale University Press, London, 2012
Over the last century, many artists and filmmakers have used silence as subject matter and medium, exploring it as symbol, phenomenon, memorial device, and oppressive force. Silence examines the ways twenty-nine artists invoke silence to shape space and consciousness, most after John Cage’s 4’33” (1952). Among this carefully curated selection are Joseph Beuys’s The Silence of Marcel Duchamp Is Overrated (1964) and works by several artists who matured in the 1960s and 70s, including Bruce Nauman and Marcel Broodthaers; documentation of Tehching Hsieh’s One Year Performance 1978-79, in which the artist spent a year in a cage without speaking, reading, writing, or engaging with any media; and Andy Warhol’s Electric Chair paintings. Other artists featured in the publication include Robert Rauschenberg and Ad Reinhardt, represented by white or black paintings; Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Maya Deren, Jennie C. Jones, Jacob Kirkegaard, Christian Marclay, Doris Salcedo, and Martin Wong; and intermedia artists Steve Roden and Steven Vitiello. Over forty full-color plates complement three thought-provoking essays and artist biographies.