Annette Cyr A ‘76



One thing lost in our urban life is silence. SILENT/LISTEN offers the experience of silence, as one participant at a time, commits to wearing my high-end noise-cancelling headset for 5 minutes. 

Participants will experience:

  • The expansion of time encapsulated in 5 minutes
  • The enhanced visual acuity experienced when sound is removed

Each one of the senses, including hearing, benefits from a reset, a cleansing. (Think: cleansing of the palette) 

SILENT/LISTEN was inspired by viewing Calder’s Small Sphere and Heavy Sphere, 1932/33 at the Whitney Museum of Art. After watching very little activity for 20 minutes, with all 80 of us being as silent as possible, I returned to the city streets in an amazing state of calm, open to reflection.

The famous precursor of SILENT/LISTEN is 4’33”, the 1952 composition by John Cage. The performer is instructed to not play the instrument for the duration of 4 minutes 33 seconds. 

About the title: Composer Robert Hart pointed out to me that Silent and Listen are anagrams of each other, being made of the same letters.

SILENT/LISTEN provides the opportunity to refresh your awareness. After hearing SILENT/LISTEN, I look forward to hearing what happens for you. 

A painter as well as filmmaker, Annette Cyr balances the solitude of painting with the camaraderie of filmmaking. Cyr’s background includes an MFA from Yale, a recent Masters in Digital Cinema from National University, Los Angeles, a year in Tuscany, one in Paris, and a couple of decades in NYC. 

Cyr’s films focus on the lives of artists. Blindness, a narrative short about a painter who may be going blind, distributed by Hewes Pictures, will broadcast on ShortsTV, ShortsInternational, and DirectTV in 2017/2018. 

The New Look, an episode from The Life of a 21st Century Artist, the comedy series about the predicaments of an artist, Annette Souris (the Mouse), recently screened at the Skowhegan Alliance, NYC and in film festivals in Southern California.

Cyr divides her time between New York and San Diego, where Cyr is Lead Faculty of Art at National University. Currently on sabbatical, Cyr’s focus is on her Women in Predicaments painting series and developing other film projects. 

The use of silence is always concise and expressive in Cyr’s films, leading to SILENT/LISTEN, her first audio and performance work.