The final event listed for this year’s Atlanta Celebrates Photography (ACP) festival presents another brush with celebrity, an artist lecture at the High Museum by the multitalented Harry Shearer, the actor and satirist most widely known as the voice of Montgomery Burns and at least 11 other Simpsons characters. Shearer is responsible for the Silent Echo Chamber, a video installation at the Atlanta Contemporary featuring roughly a dozen politicians and media pundits sitting in dead silence.
I’m curious to hear Shearer’s defense of his work. (Cathy Fox’s summary last week called it “disappointing” and “a yawn.”) As a member of the entertainment establishment, how does Shearer perceive his own place beside the faces he appropriates in the video? Originally conceived as a response to the 2008 presidential election, the Silent Echo Chamber captures candid footage of Dr. Phil, Larry King, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly, Hillary Clinton, and even Barack Obama sitting in the long, lonely minutes before cameras go live. How does Shearer’s experience as an actor inform his point of view and, further, his understanding of the work’s merit as contemporary art?
The discussion panel, featuring Harry Shearer, Jim Clancy of CNN, Michael David Murphy of ACP, and moderator Stuart Horodner of the Atlanta Contemporary, is scheduled for Friday, November 20, from 7-8:30PM at the High Museum. Tickets are free, but seating is limited. Please contact the High for more info.
The final viewing of the installation, the Silent Echo Chamber, is on view at the Contemporary this Sunday, November 22.