Jan-Erik Lundström on The Silence
Neither, strictly speaking, a work of translation, nor of transformation, nor of re-presentation, Evanthia Tsantila’s The Silence transposes and superimposes certain parameters of space and time to the point of slow but insistent centripetal implosion. Referencing both a temporal segment (a verbal exchange) and a spatial/architectural unit (a particular classic) from Ingmar Bergman’s pièce extraordinaire from 1963, not by accident carrying the same name as Tsantila’s piece, these sources are then reenacted, reconstructed and, as said transposed. The references, or the source material, is however put under such capillary pressure that that most elements - properties, sensations, feelings, propositions, languages - are subverted or unsettled. And what is generated –through two videos, a soundtrack, a space/architecture/objects)- is essentially, between the two protagonists, the breakdown of communication, a caesura, a slippage, a time warp, a point of no return and yet without a specified future. Further enhanced by the peculiarly circular, or even labyrinthic but yet small-scale architecture (taking its cue from the Melnikov residence in Moscow), and further provoked by the silent witness/observer in the 2nd video, the viewer, always the final protagonist, like the two protagonists in the work, finds her/himself in a stalemate, at an impasse, in an a-topic space where language, time, space, words, communication stumble around, tumbling on top of each other, not finding the way out or onward.
Published in the catalogue of the 1st Thessaloniki Biennale Heterotopias
SMCA - State Museum of Contemporary Art Thessaloniki, 2007