Lecture Art and silence

Virginie Platteau

-- The lecture on Art and silence by Virginie Platteau replaces the cancelled book presentation 'on silence' on Friday 10/12 at 7 p.m. in Cultural Center Mechelen --

Every artist begins his creative process with silence, withdrawal. It is a condition for inner peace, inspiration and concentration, often even for mental health. Silence precedes creation and is also the oasis or the black hole in which the artist's speech finally disappears. What is the paradoxical nature of silence? What is the universal character of the elusive and always very specific atmosphere of stillness that certain works of art evoke? Is a still life really silent? Impressionists and landscape painters, symbolists and minimalists... In many visual arts but also in poetry, silence allows the unspeakable. Sometimes silence serves as a material, a raw material to work with. Silence can be heard, but how do you represent it? And how do artists deal with the silence of the muse, with the silence of oblivion in which their work can end up? What is there left to say, if everything has already been imagined and written? Is 'the rest' silence, or noise and hubbub? This session explores the above starting points in a light philosophical way, illustrated with examples from the visual arts and poetry. An exploration at the edge of what one cannot speak about, but also cannot remain silent about.

Virginie Platteau writes as a freelance cultural journalist about art, poetry and literature. For years she has been fascinated by the power of silence. As a silence coach for schools and as a food forest pioneer she wants to revalue natural peace, space and silence. She is a board member of the silence movement Waerbeke and curator of the cultural city festival Zinderende Stilte in Mechelen.

Virginie Platteau wrote an essay on the philosophy of silence, published by Letterwerk:

"Everyone benefits from self-chosen silence. Those who bear great responsibilities just as much as those who rebel against everything that goes wrong in the world. Burnout among activists is very common, but hushed up. Constantly campaigning and fighting on the barricades, often against the odds, exhausts you internally. Those who cannot then periodically take a moment to be with themselves, with all their frustrations and indignation, or take the time to recharge mentally and physically, burn out."

- from: Virginie Platteau, How Does Silence Sound? A little philosophy of silence, 2021 - author's commentary on KLARA: click here (only in Dutch).

19:00 — 20:00

Cultural Centre Mechelen

Admission free; please reserve your place at mechelen@festival.be.