Missing image

© The Artist

THE LAST SILENT MOVIE 2007

Susan Hiller (1940 – )

Details

Dimension
37 X 42.5 CM
Media
SINGLE CHANNEL PROJECTION WITH SOUND, 20 MIN
Accession number
P8158/0

Summary

An old man confronts us with some truths about language. The strangeness of his voice merges with the buzzing and humming artefacts of an archaic recording mechanism. A young girl repeats words she is trying to memorize in what sounds like French. Several men exuberantly chant fragments of a creation myth. An elderly woman tells a story of jealousy and murder to an appreciative listener.

The Last Silent Movie opens the unvisited, silent archives of extinct and endangered languages to create a composition of voices that are not silent. They are not silent because someone is listening. The work sets free some of the ghosts and spectres haunting the unacknowledged 'unheimlich' of sound recording that allows us to hear the words and voices of people mostly now dead. In The Last Silent Movie, some voices sing, some tell stories, some recite vocabulary lists and some, directly or indirectly, accuse us – the listeners – of injustice