The Other Side of Silence

By Michelle Cioccoloni

The idea stemmed from the title of a book the artist found, "The Other Side of Silence", which set her thinking about how silence could be expressed visually, and, with specific reference to Wilfred Owen, suggested the idea of reversing the seven days between the date Owen died and the end of the war, thus the idea of seven referring to the last seven days of his life, too, both in the artists' books,  and in the prints 'Dulce et Decorum Est'.

Silence is defined by what it is not. It is absence, hence, visually expressed, it is absence on the page. By erasing, scratching and deleting the printed words, nothing remains but punctuation, with silence between. Seven copies of the same book, wrapped in cloth and placed side-by-side on plinths, introduce the added dimension of time; the first books are scratched violently, the grief is fresh, the last few erased more gently, for people who are mourning time passes slowly. Fragments of text, left within the silences, are like thoughts scattered across the page.

The piece is also about the dichotomy of Remembrance, the people who have suffered grief trying to forget, to erase the pain of the loss, whereas the present generation, not having lived through the experience, is trying to 'remember', trying not to forget the suffering of the soldiers who gave their lives long before they were born.

Other Side of Silence

7 Books

The Other Side of Silence

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