Location: Eltuek Arts Centre
Inside building - South glass stairwell (audio piece)
Robert Bean is an artist, writer, curator and retired NSCAD University Professor living in Kjipuktuk, Halifax. Bean has edited books and published articles on the subject of photography, contemporary art and cultural history. He has been an active contributor to the Cineflux Research Group at NSCAD University and the Narratives in Space and Time art and mobility project.
Utilizing public archives and collections, Bean considers the temporal uncertainty that photographs and digital media evoke in relation to experience, technology and language.
Robert Bean’s work is in public and private collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, the Canada Council Art Bank, the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, ZKM (Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie) Karlsruhe, Germany and the Donovan Collection, University of St. Michael’s College Toronto, Ontario and Global Affairs Canada Visual Art Collection (ARBZ).
The sound work Silenzio presents the aural space of the Sistine Chapel as the murmur of voices and a desire for speech. The work foregrounds the acoustic experience of a site historically associated with the visual authority of Renaissance frescos.
Silenzio is a souvenir of polyphony, the story of Babel and the search for authenticity implied by art and tourism. The disciplinary silencing of dialogue generated by tourists and pilgrims converges with the pious culpability associated with asking forgiveness.