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Moments of Silence

Imperial War Museum, London


From the depths of the ocean to the heights of Everest…

Moments of Silence is an innovative and immersive installation exploring the origins, history and future of remembrance rituals. Commissioned by the Imperial War Museum and created by 59 Productions, the installation is part of IWM’s Making a New World season.

The installation comprises of two distinct spaces that as artworks reflect two diametrically opposed approaches to remembrance. The first is an ambisonic experience, created with theatrical sound designer Gareth Fry, that places audiences in a series of ‘minutes of silence’ in a completely dark and acoustically-controlled space. The recordings include a wide-ranging variety of silences, from the first ever recorded silence at the 1929 Cenotaph Remembrance Service to present day silences recorded at Derby County Football Club, Liverpool Street Station, Everest Base Camp and HMS Ambush, an Astute Class Submarine.

The second draws on the vast archive of data from the Imperial War Museum and Commonwealth War Graves Commission amongst others, presenting this data in a unique light and projection space that mixes the ideas of data sets with physical memorials.

The counterpoint between the two different experiences of silence invites audiences to consider both the experience and the ritual of remembrance, as well as offering a space for personal remembrance.

This unique commission from the IWM offers a creative response to its Hall of Remembrance, a proposed centre for national mourning designed after the First World War. The hall was intended to display commissioned artworks by John Singer Sargent, Stanley Spencer and Paul Nash but was never realised.

Opened 2018

Imperial War Museum, London

“Our approach has been to create two counterpoint spaces that we hope will encourage audiences to consider both the collective and the personal act of remembrance”

59 Team

Project Director
Richard Slaney

Senior Architect
Jenny Melville

Senior Designer
Nick Corrigan

Tommy Lexen

Sound Designer
Gareth Fry

Lighting Designer
Leo Woolcock

Associate Video Designer
Raphael Pimlott

Architectural Designers
Claudia Fragoso
Khushali Chawda
Will Wiesner
Marzio Scottoni
Matt Wreglesworth

Assistant Designer
Hannah Fasching

Marcus Chaloner
Hanna Schrage
Marta Radecka

Design Assistants
Dale Croft
Matthew Taylor

Production Manager
James Roxburgh

Technical Associate
Maximilien Spielbichler

Technical Assistants
Iain Syme
David Brown
David Callanan

Video Programmer
Christopher Dunkin

Sound Recordists
Mike Winship
Pete Malkin
Rebecca Collis