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. A Riverside Sound Art Installation at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens  by Christina Kubisch is a contemporary remembrance of the more than 49,000 Irish people who died in the First World War. In 1923, these names were published in Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914-1918. Consisting of eight volumes, these records, beautifully designed and illustrated by Irish artist Harry Clarke, are housed nearby in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens.

Almost the entire list of these names was read by volunteers of different ages and accents from across Ireland.  The sound installation is based on the flow of these male and female voices playing over the banks of the river. The names are heard in alphabetical order, and every name, even when repeated, corresponds to a different person. The composer has not intervened 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.
 
The installation will be open to the public in the Irish National War Memorial Gardens on the southern banks of the Liffey from 16 April until  30 September 2017. It has been inaugurated on the 29 June 2016 on the occasion of the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.
 

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.

Installation Voices of Memory Photo: Eckehard Güther/Christina Kubisch

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.

Recording Room City Council Photo: Goethe-Institut/Franziska Hülshoff

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.


Voices of Memory by Christina Kubisch began as an idea two years ago when the Goethe-Institut Irland, impressed at the idea that the Dublin City Council was commissioning sound art as a Public Art Commission, suggested we host Christina Kubisch on a 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 of the Irish National War Memorial Gardens by the river was the beginning of a journey which led to the sound artwork Voices of Memory. The commission has developed into a profound remembrance of the Irish killed in the First World War.

This commission would not have come about without the partnership and 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 is significant and the involvement of the OPW invaluable.

Most of all we are moved by the inspiring artwork which Christina Kubisch has created for Ireland.


Thomas Lier,
Director, Goethe-Institut Irland
 
Ruairí Ó Cuív
Curator, Dublin City Council


Credits
Artistic concept: Christina Kubisch
Sound engineering: Eckehard Güther
Voice recordings: Fergus Kelly
Technical direction: Dipl. Ing. Manfred Fox

Project management: Ruairí Ó Cuív, DCC arts manager, Curator
                                 Dr. Thomas Lier, Goethe-Institut Irland
 
Project assistance: Olivia Laumenech, Dublin City Council
                             Kate McBride, Dublin City Council
                             Barbara Ebert, Goethe-Institut Irland
                             Heidrun Rottke, Goethe-Institut Irland
                             Franziska Hülshoff, Project Coordination and Project Website
                             Anna Labudde, Project Development Support



Commissioned by Goethe-Institut Irland in partnership with Dublin City Council with the support of Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Office of Public Works, and the Trustees of the Irish National War Memorial Gardens.

In Cooperation with

Voices of Memory: Kooperationspartner © Voices of Memory: Kooperationspartner Voices of Memory: Kooperationspartner Voices of Memory: Kooperationspartner

Top