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Shelly Silver

September 24, 2008
12:30 p.m.

Our social and political landscape has changed dramatically from 2001 to 2008. As a result, the November presidential election seems to be one of the most highly anticipated, eagerly awaited, and critically important in years. This fall's series invites artists working in film and photography who have their finger on the pulse, and are activating our perception of the relationship between politicians and our everyday lives.

Shelly Silver, a New York–based artist who utilizes video, film, and photography, screens and discusses in complete world (2008), a feature-length documentary made up of street interviews done throughout New York City. Mixing political questions ("Are we responsible for the government we get?") with more broadly existential ones ("Do you feel you have control over your life?"), the film centers on the tension between individual and collective responsibility. in complete world can be seen as a user's manual for citizenship in the twenty-first century, as well as a glimpse into the opinions and self-perceptions of a diverse group of Americans. It is a testament to the people of New York City in this new millennium who freely offer thoughtful, provocative and at times tender revelations to a complete stranger, just because she asked. Silver currently teaches at the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Art and Sciences and in the MFA Department of Photography, Video and Related Media, School of Visual Arts. Sally Berger, Assistant Curator, Department of Film, The Museum of Modern Art, moderates a discussion.

Note: Audio recordings of films shown during the program have been removed.


Shelly Silver (1)

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    Shelly Silver



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