Public Space With A Roof

Els Opsomer

In places that are so marked by conflict and violence and where noise omnipresent, silence has a grim character. It brings no peace, but is always the forerunner of a new disaster. And as long as you do not know where or when that disaster will strike, it could be hovering over your head. The Agony of Silence is a personal visual report of a short journey through Israel and Palestine. For this purpose, Opsomer made use of the photos she took on her trip, which she refilmed with a video camera, and then edited the images in Imovie, a DIY-processing program from Apple. The video camera appears to be looking for traces of what it felt like to be there, but the frozen images of streets, barriers, checkpoints, and even the faces of the people, reveal very little in that respect. This retrospective investigation is provided with subtitles that include a letter from Opsomer to some friends, which she wrote when in the area. Where the images fail, it is the words that indeed manage to convey something of the huge impact of this experience. An experience in which not only the loud bangs of explosions and gunfire, but also the silences in between, have an overwhelming effect. Presented by the NETHERLANDS MEADIA ART INSTITUTE – MONTEVIDEO / TIME BASED ARTS as part of the program that investigated the relationship between artist and reality, or more specifically, the identity of the creator as an outsider.