Posted September 8, 2011

Temple Gallery commemorates Sept. 11 with "Moments of Silence"

Joseph V. Labolito. /Temple University
Robert Blackson, director of Temple Gallery at the Tyler School of Art.

In an age marked by the incessant ringing and chiming of cell phones, e-mails and text messaging alerts, it can be easy to forget the gravity of silence.

This month, Temple Gallery begins a semester-long exhibit that explores the power of quiet, beginning with a collection of recorded moments of silence expressed in commemoration of September 11, 2001.

These silences, collected from the past 10 years, range from President Obama’s recent visit to Ground Zero following the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, to a woman’s private remembrance of the families whose loved ones died on September 11.

Gathered from newsreels, library collections and the Internet, the selection of 10 silences is a quiet history of the nation’s solidarity and recollection of 9/11.  

Robert Blackson, director of Temple Gallery at Tyler School of Art, considers the exhibition a fitting tribute to the nation’s loss and rebuilding.

“For centuries artists have struggled to represent renewal,” he said. “Amongst the many tributes made by artists and individuals in commemoration of 9/11, the ones I have found most poignant are those ephemeral and communal gestures of quiet solidarity.”

The exhibit will continue in November with “Silences of the Autumn Equinox,” followed by a December exhibit in recognition of National AIDS day featuring recordings of silent protests.

The exhibition was made possible through the research of fine arts major Olivia Menta and Tyler School of Art’s Graduate Art History Organization.

“A Decade of Silences” will be audible in the gallery through September 30. Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and by appointment. For more information, visit