Art is in the eye of the beholder, they say. Shelly Silver’s beholders range in age from seven to nineteen years. They focus their attention on artworks in the Leipzig Museum of Fine Arts. Their spontaneous interpretations of the works allow for resonances: both, the paintings as well as their young reviewers, reveal different things about themselves, depending on the point of view.
“Shit that I’m not a boy”, a teenager exclaims as she stands in front of the painting of a rich young man who lived centuries before her, perhaps in the Netherlands. Because boys are allowed much more, she says. Playing basketball outside, for example. Shelly Silver’s hypothesis is as simple as it is fruitful: The outside perspective will always lead back to one’s own perspective. The director’s questions and suggestions are not revealed. But she picks out details of the paintings to substantiate and illustrate statements – or put them up for discussion again. Silver’s finesse lies in the montage. Meanwhile, the timeline of the exploration runs from the past to the present, from the pierced feet of Jesus Christ via a reclining naked nymph by Lucas Cranach the Elder to the more recent photography of the Swedish artist Arvida Byström.