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Pauline Boudry & Renate Lorenz

Silent, 2016

Installation with HD, 7 min.

Performance: Aérea Negrot 


Silent starts with an interpretation of John Cage‘s score 4´33´´ from 1952. The score is conceived for any instrument and instructs its performer(s) not to play their instrument(s) during the entire duration of the three parts of 30‘‘, 2‘23‘‘ and 1‘40‘‘.

The musician Aérea Negrot performs the score on a rotating stage, placed on Oranienplatz, a public square in Berlin where a refugee protest camp took place between 2012 and 2014. In a second part of the film she performs a song, which has been composed for the film.

Silence has been described either as a violent experience, as in being silenced, or as a powerful performative act of resistance, as it has been carried out by various disobedience movements around the world. Silent asks how both moments are intertwined. It focuses on the performance of a silent act, which might allow for agency, strength and even pleasure without erasing the traces of violence and vulnerability. The film suggests a dialogue between being silent and sounding rather than seeing them as mutually excluding. 


Pauline Boudry and Renate Lorenz have been working together in Berlin since 2007. They produce installations that choreograph the tension between visibility and opacity. Their films capture performances in front of the camera, often starting with a song, a picture, a film or a score from the near past. They upset normative historical narratives and conventions of spectatorship, as figures and actions across time are staged, layered and re-imagined. Their performers are choreographers, artists and musicians, with whom they are having a long-term conversation about the conditions of performance, the violent history of visibility, the pathologization of bodies, but also about companionship, glamour and resistance.

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