Two minute silences from the depths of the ocean to the heights of Everest form part of this immersive installation. Moments of Silence is an innovative and immersive installation exploring the origins, history and future of remembrance rituals. Commissioned by IWM and created by the Tony and Olivier Award-winning artists 59 Productions, the installation is part of IWM’s Making a New World season.
As the First World War drew to a close, there was an intention in Britain to create a national memorial to war – the Hall of Remembrance – which would house commissioned artworks by some of the most prominent twentieth century war artists, including Paul Nash, Stanley Spencer and John Singer Sargent. The Hall itself was never realised, but a number of now familiar national remembrance rituals took its place, from the two minute silence to the roll call of the dead.
Moments of Silence uses these rituals as its starting point, combining animation, light projection, sound and space to question the significance of collective and more intimate forms of remembrance in new and experiential ways. Central to the installation are a series of twelve atmospheric ‘silences’, a number of which were recorded at 11am on 11 November 2017. Predominantly collected from around the UK, the recordings include a wide-ranging variety of two minute silences, from the first ever recorded silence at the 1929 Cenotaph Remembrance Service to present day silences at Everest Base Camp and HMS Ambush, an Astute Class Submarine.
Moments of Silence is part of Making a New World, a season of innovative exhibitions, installations and immersive experiences at IWM London and IWM North which explore how the First World War has shaped the society we live in today.