Shelly Silver: Intimate Visions and Public Spaces at REDCAT
Still from Touch.
REDCAT: “By staking her right to documentary material as well as fictional writing, Shelly Silver sizes up the likelihood of an imaginary point of view reaching a truth more subtle than autobiographical truth.” —Cinéma du Réel
This screening of two works by Shelly Silver begins with What I’m Looking For (2004, digital video, 15 min.), the second in her trilogy of fictional essay films shot in public spaces, which explores the relationship between a female photographer and subjects met on the Internet. The program continues with Touch (2013, digital video, 68 min.), in which a gay man recounts, mostly in Mandarin, his return to New York’s Chinatown after 50 years in order to care for his dying mother. Like the narrator—a librarian, cataloguer and recorder—the city has changed and yet the past still haunts familiar streets. The character is an invention of the filmmaker, but as her narrator confides, “words make the impossible imaginable, therefore possible.” Currently chair of Columbia’s Visual Arts Program, Silver has utilized video, film and still photography to investigate contested territories between public and private, narrative and documentary, the watcher and the watched.