Fern Silva’s films juxtapose the structures and industries of globalism. He is drawn to subjects that defy national identity through mythology, mysticism, and historical accounts, and his films consider uncanny and animistic approaches to narrative, ethnographic, and documentary filmmaking as the starting point for structural experimentation.
At Radcliffe, Silva is editing his first feature film, Sacred Sights. As lava continues to flow from Kilauea on the island of Hawaii—posing an imminent danger—an existential crisis mounts for native Hawaiians: astronomers plan to build the world’s largest telescope on the burial grounds of their most sacred and revered ancestors. Based on ancient Hawaiian mythology and the observatory’s ability to teach us about the origins of our own galaxy, Sacred Sights serves as a sonic and visual representation of this complex dichotomy.
Silva’s body of film, video, and projection work has been exhibited at various venues, including the Berlin, Hong Kong, Locarno, London, New York, Rotterdam, and Toronto film festivals; Anthology Film Archives; Centre Pompidou; Cinemateca Boliviana; MoMA PS1; Museo de Arte de Lima; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; and the New Museum. His work has been featured in publications including Cinema Scope, Film Comment, Filmmaker magazine, and Senses of Cinema. He has received support from the Jerome Foundation, the MacDowell Colony, the New York State Council on the Arts, and the Wexner Center for the Arts. A faculty member at Bennington College, he received his BFA from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design and his MFA from Bard College.