silence

First Person: Silence, The Menil Collection (Houston, TX USA)

  Silence is on view at the The Menil Collection from July 27 through October 21, 2012. The day after it opened, I visited the exhibition for what I hope to be the first of several visits. This exhibition is packed with a range of fascinating works. A performance highlight is two versions of a video of John Cage’s 1952 composition 4’33”. For this piece, the musician sits at a piano without producing any sound with the instrument. The sounds taking place as the musician sits in the environment are the work. Also on view is Tehching Hsieh’s One Year Performance (1978-1979). This includes documentation of the artist locking himself in a cage in a Manhattan loft for twelve months taking a vow of silence which included no conversing, no listening to the radio, no reading,...