Film screening

German Movie Nights: Girls / Museum

Girls / Museum

04/08/2022, 7:00pm

Goethe-Institut New York

30 Irving Place
New York, NY 10003


Language: German with English subtitles
Price: Free admission
+1 212 4398700 Registration required

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The German Film Office is pleased to present a special in-person screening of Shelly Silver’s 2020 documentary Girls / Museum at the Goethe-Institut New York, followed by a conversation between the filmmaker and Brooklyn Museum curator Lisa Small. Please register to attend.

We are born into an already-constructed world – we don’t choose our own history, context, or culture. We each enter with new eyes into a culture which has already been shaped and structured based on the desires and power of others. This culture is most often opaque, hidden under the smooth surface of ‘the way it is,’ and ‘the way it was’.

Museums are institutions that are entrusted to preserve – they are a repository of highly selective views of history and civilization. The artwork presented under the guise of education and expertise, has, in fact, been historically made, collected, curated and contextualized, by men. There is no lack of depictions of women on display, mothers, wives, prostitutes, artist’s models and muses – contemporary, classical and religious figures are all seen through the eyes of male artists. Taking into account this imbalance, through what lens should this work be viewed today?

Girls / Museum is a voyage through the historical art collection of the MdbK/Museum der bildenden Künste Leipzig, guided by the expertise and insights of a group of girls, ages 7 to 19. Moving from artwork to artwork, century to century, they tell us what they see.

“At once a social inquiry, a critical essay in art history and a poised, even sculptural study of people, paintings and space, Girls/Museum is thought-provoking, engaging and visually striking.” (Jonathan Romney, Screen Daily)

World premiere: DOK Leipzig

Winner of the 3sat Documentary Film Award, Duisburger Filmwoche

Girls / Museum
Dir. Shelly Silver
Germany, 2020
71 minutes

Shelly Silver is a New York based artist working with the still and moving image. Her work explores contested territories between public and private, narrative and documentary, and – increasingly in recent years – the watcher and the watched. She has exhibited worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Tate Modern, Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the Yokohama Museum, the London ICA, and the London, Singapore, New York, Moscow, and Berlin Film Festivals. Silver is Professor and Director of Moving Image, Visual Arts Program, School of the Arts, Columbia University.

Lisa Small is Senior Curator of European Art at the Brooklyn Museum. Prior to joining the Brooklyn Museum, she held curatorial positions at the American Federation of Arts and the Dahesh Museum. She has taught art history at Hunter College, Brooklyn College, and the School of Visual Arts.