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Talking heads caught in moments of silence

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What do celebrities, politicians and the like think, feel or do in the minutes, for some eternities, before appearing  live on television? Five years ago, between December 2008 and February 2009, the Aldrich Contemporary Museum offered some answers in Harry Shearer’s exhibition «The silent echo chamber».

Andrew Adam Newman described it in the New York Times in these terms:

Video loops run on nine flat-screen monitors that are hung like portraits along three walls. There is a disquieting sense of being at the wrong end of the telescope: the stars you have watched silently for years are silently watching you.

On one screen the political consultant James Carville, wearing a pinched expression, seems to listen to voices only he hears. On another, Keith Olbermann of MSNBC scratches distractedly at something behind his ear. On a third, Henry A. Kissinger, a 10-mile stare on his face, remains absolutely still for several minutes. Elsewhere, Senator John McCain sits with a stiff, military bearing, eyes wide in an expression at once stern and expectant, while Larry King wearily cradles his head in his hands.. more


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