Susan Hiller

The Last Silent Movie 2007


The Last Silent Movie, Neue National Galerie, Berlin Biennal 5, 2008


The Last Silent Movie is a 20-minute audio work translated and subtitled on black screens.
It is accompanied by a set of etchings.


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 which allows us to hear the words and voices of people mostly now dead. In The Last Silent Movie, some of them sing, some tell stories, some recite vocabulary lists and some of them, directly or indirectly, accuse us, the listeners, of injustice.

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