Voices of Memory
A Riverside Sound Art Installation

  • Irish National War Memorial Gardens Goethe-Institut / Eugene Langan
    Irish National War Memorial Gardens
  • Location of the sound art installation in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens Goethe-Institut / Eugene Langan
    Location of the sound art installation in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens
  • Location of the sound art installation in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens Goethe-Institut / Eugene Langan
    Location of the sound art installation in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens
  • Irish National War Memorial Gardens Goethe-Institut / Eugene Langan
    Irish National War Memorial Gardens
  • Irish National War Memorial Gardens Goethe-Institut / Eugene Langan
    Irish National War Memorial Gardens
  • Klangbrücke Standort GoogleMaps Data 2016
    The sound installation Distant Voices is located in the Irish National War Memorial Park at the southern banks of the Liffey. Distance to Heuston Station: 2km; accessibility by car from Con Colbert Road and South Circular Road. Busses number 25, 51D and 67, stop Con Colbert Road, next to the park. Karte: GoogleMaps Data 2016
  • Irish National War Memorial Gardens Goethe-Institut / Eugene Langan
    Irish National War Memorial Gardens

Audio wird geladen
Voices of Memory by Christina Kubisch began as an idea in 2014 when the Goethe-Institut Irland, impressed by the idea that Dublin City Council was commissioning sound art as a Public Art Commission, invited Christina Kubisch on an exploratory visit to Dublin to see if she would be interested in making an artwork at Islandbridge. The impact of seeing Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918, illustrated by the Irish artist Harry Clarke, and the setting by the River Liffey was the beginning of a journey which led to the sound artwork Voices of Memory. The commission developed into a profound remembrance of the Irish killed in the First World War. It was inaugurated on 29 June 2016 on the occasion of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme and officially ended in November 2018 to coincide with the centenary of the end of the First World War. In June 2018, a new iteration of the original sound installation was launched in the form of a double CD under the same title, Voices of Memory.

During 2015 and 2016, just over 42,000 names were recorded by volunteers. These recordings became the basic material for Voices of Memory. The volunteer readers were composed of different ages, sex, nationalities, and occupations. The sound installation was based on the flow of these male and female voices playing over the banks of the river. The names can be heard in alphabetical order, and every name, even when repeated, corresponds to a different person. The artist did not intervene much in the recordings other than to vary the density, rhythm and flow of names in this four-channel installation. Along with small breaks of silence, the composition includes sounds of underwater recordings made in the Liffey; the rhythm of the passing rowing boats, the hidden natural world of small insects and animals, and the flow of water itself.

A publication, Voices of Memory was produced by Dublin City Council and the Goethe-Institut Irland in 2019. It is concerned with the realisation of the project and an insight into Irish history from the perspective of Christina Kubish, academics, artists and those who volunteered to read. It is available to download below.
 

Royal Ulster Rifles at the Somme Source: commens.wikimedia.org

Historical Background

Retired professor of Modern History at Trinity College Dublin David Fitzpatrick portrays Ireland during World War One, focusing on 1916. He writes about the greatest military deployment in Irish history, and refers to the battles at Gallipoli and the Somme.

The Art Project

Besides artist Christina Kubisch many other people also played an important role for the realisation of the sound art project. Almost 200 volunteers came to the recording sessions and lent their voices to the piece by reading out more than 40,000 of the Irish soldiers’ names.

Sound Art in Public Spaces

The renowned sound artist Sven Anderson discusses Christina Kubisch’s “Voices of Memory” and the role of sound art in public spaces in Dublin. He refers to his encounters with Kubisch’s work as well as with other sound artists, thus, drawing on his years of experience.

Postcard sent to Michael Nugent Source: Marie McLoughlin

Behind the Voices

Behind each of the ten thousands of names, which are read in the sound installation, are personal fates of the soldiers, who died in WW I. Here, these stories, which have sometimes been forgotten, are to be unveiled with the help of their relatives.

In Cooperation with

This commission would not have come about without the partnership, support and enthusiasm of many people and organisations. The endorsement of the commission by the Trustees of the Irish National War Memorial Gardens and the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht were significant and the involvement of the OPW invaluable.
 
Artistic concept: Christina Kubisch
Sound engineering and technical director: Eckehard Güther
Voice recordings: Fergus Kelly
Technical advisor: Manfred Fox
Project management: Ruairí Ó Cuív, DCC Public Art Officer, Curator
Dr. Thomas Lier, Director, Goethe-Institut Irland
Mechtild Manus, Goethe-Institut Irland
Barbara Ebert, Goethe-Institut Irland
Dr. Julie Deering-Kraft, Goethe-Institut Irland
Project assistance: Olivia Laumenech, Dublin City Council
Kate McBride, Dublin City Council
Heidrun Rottke, Goethe-Institut Irland
Franziska Hülshoff, Project Coordination and Project Website
Anna Labudde, Project Development Support
Clara Sölch, Project Development Support

Voices of Memory: Kooperationspartner Voices of Memory: Kooperationspartner