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Video A-Harry Shearer: The Silent Echo Chamber at Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Harry Shearer, David Gergen (video still from The Silent Echo Chamber), 2008
Courtesy of the artist and Susan Inglett Gallery, New York.

RIDGEFIELD, CT.- Live, from The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. . . it’s a new exhibition by Harry Shearer! Harry Shearer: The Silent Echo Chamber, a multi-screen video installation by the award-winning American comedic actor, writer, musician, and radio host best known for his regular Saturday Night Live appearances and for providing many voices for the popular television series The Simpsons, opened at The Aldrich.

The Silent Echo Chamber is the newest video work by Shearer, and is being presented on nine plasma monitors in the Museum’s Leir Atrium. This exhibition marks the second installation of Video A, a recurring exhibitions program developed to present short contemporary video projects on an ongoing basis. The exhibition will remain on view through February 8, 2009.

The project captures well-known personalities from politics and the media in the silent moments before “going live.” Individuals portrayed include James Carville, Barack Obama, Larry King, Dr. Phil, John McCain, and Chris Matthews, each caught in the uneasy prelude to becoming the familiar animated “talking head.” Shearer’s silent portrait gallery turns the familiar into the strange, allowing visitors to project their own meaning on the awkward collective silence of those to whom Americans usually look for guidance and commentary.

Richard Klein, Aldrich exhibitions director, says, “The Silent Echo Chamber is especially relevant following such an intense political season and we’re very pleased to introduce his work into the museum arena for the first time.”

Over his fifty-year career, Shearer has, among other things, been a writer and cast member for Saturday Night Live, a co-creator and actor in the 1984 spoof This is Spinal Tap, host of KCRW’s radio comedy and music program Le Show, and perhaps most memorably, the voice actor for over twelve characters on The Simpsons, including Mr. Burns, Waylon Smithers, and Ned Flanders. Harry Shearer is represented by Susan Inglett Gallery, New York.

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