The Silent Echo Chamber

The Silent Echo Chamber

September 12, 2009 – November 22, 2009

The faces of well known media and political personalities including James Carville, Hilary Clinton, Dr. Phil, Larry King, Henry Kissinger, Chris Matthews, and John McCain stare into television cameras. As pundits and policy makers, they animate prime time programs as familiar talking heads. But in video loops by Harry Shearer, they are presented in the awkward or introspective moments before “going live,” a condition undoubtedly familiar to the artist, known to many as a writer, actor, musician, and radio host. While working on Saturday Night Live in the 1980s, Shearer discovered the satellite news feed. Fascinated by the wealth of unofficial material floating in the ether, he began to collect and share it as “Found Objects” on his website.

Initially compiled as a response to the 2008 presidential election, The Silent Echo Chamber footage captures liminal states not intended for broadcast. Ranging from six to twenty minutes, these video loops contradict the nature of our constructed experiences with these public figures. Shearer’s project offers us a site for the projection of our own assumptions and opinions, and prompts questions about communication, trust, and truth.

Harry Shearer’s The Silent Echo Chamber, Corin Hewitt’s Seed Stage, and Will Rogan’s Remnant World exhibitions have been organized to coincide with Atlanta Celebrates Photography with generous support from the Massey Charitable Trust.


Harry Shearer

One of America’s most prominent satirists, Harry Shearer is known to the masses as one of the voices of The Simpsons and as Derek Smalls of This Is Spinal Tap. He is a contributing blogger on the Huffington Post and host of the public radio comedy/music program Le Show for KCRW. The Silent Echo Chamber has been exhibited at the Susan Inglett Gallery in New York, the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, CT, and The Renaissance Society in Chicago, IL.

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