Catalogue > Un extrait vidéo au hasard

Shelly Silver

Girls | Museum

Documentaire | hdv | couleur | 71:21 | USA, Allemagne | 2020

We are born into an already-constructed world. We each enter with new eyes into a culture that has already been shaped and structured based on the desires and power of others. Historical art museums are charged with preserving and interpreting the tangible evidence of a civilization’s cultural trajectory and artistic achievement. The artworks they display have overwhelmingly been made, collected and contextualized by men. On the walls of their hushed galleries, there is no lack of depictions of women on display – mothers, wives, prostitutes, artist’s models and muses, all seen through the eyes of male artists. Girls | Museum takes the viewer through the historical art collection of the MdbK/Museum of Fine Art Leipzig, guided by a group of girls, ages 7 to 19. Moving from artwork to artwork, century to century, the girls tell us what they see. Art is typically the reserve of anointed experts and girls rarely take or are given a central and unfettered place to speak from. From imaginative leaps of storytelling to curt pronouncements, from gender fluidity to power, inequality, precarity and war, Girls | Museum, in its quiet way, calls for questioning basic assumptions of what and who we value.

Shelly Silver is a New York based artist working with the still and moving image. Her work explores contested territories between public and private, narrative and documentary, and--increasingly in recent years--the watcher and the watched. She has exhibited worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Modern, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Yokohama Museum, the London ICA, and the London, the Singapore, New York,Moscow, and Berlin Film Festivals. Her films have been broadcast by BBC/England, PBS/USA, Arte/Germany, France, Planete/Europe, RTE/Ireland, SWR/Germany, and Atenor/Spain, among others. Silver is Associate Professor and Director of Moving Image, Visual Arts Program, School of the Arts, Columbia University.