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Several Silences

April 26 – June 07, 2009

Ryan Gander
A sheet of paper on which I was about to draw, as it slipped from my table and fell to the floor, 2008
100 crystal balls, 5 7/8 inches each
Courtesy of Carnegie Museum of Art
Lewis Baltz | Manor de Boer | Troy Brauntuch | Paul Dickinson | Ryan Gander | Geissler and Sann | Gran Fury | C.M. von Hausswolff | Harold Mendez | Jonty Semper | Harry Shearer
Titled after an essay by the late philosopher and literary theoretician Jean-Francois Lyotard, Several Silences is a group exhibition exploring various kinds of silence. As a discourse, the aesthetic of silence has been thoroughly domesticated within the visual arts. Although silence as a discourse in art arose out of conditions calling for the negation of art, it has subsequently become familiar subject matter no longer operating as the avant-garde ideal it once was. This is not to say silence has lost significance. If anything, it has become a more potent antidote to a culture of distraction. Silence, however, is not the absence of communication. It is dialectically opposed to communication, so that one sustains and supports the other. Inextricably bound to communication, which it tacitly evokes, silence itself is a form of communication with many meanings. There are voluntary and involuntary silences--some comfortable, others not. There is Cage's silence, which calls for the distinction between clinical and ambient silences. There is silence as conscious omission or redaction. And then there is memorial silence.


The Renaissance Society
is a contemporary art
museum free and
open to the public
Thu  Apr 25, 2024