Then Now | sound installation and vintage suitcase | 3 minute loop | The Crypt Gallery, London | 2017
For this site-specific sound installation at The Crypt Gallery, which occupies the crypt under St. Pancras Church, London, rather than responding in an obvious way (death, religion etc) I started by looking at how the space was used as an air raid shelter during World War II.
Whilst researching World War II, speeches by the former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill came up. Listening to these, I felt there was a strong connection between his words back then and the world which is unfolding before us now, in particular with regard to terrorism, racism and nationalism.
I used World War II as the starting point and began looking forward at other areas of life where history seems to be repeating. From Bertrand Russell in the 1950's who gave an interview where he spoke of tolerance in society, to Martin Luther King and his calls for civil rights for African-Americans in the 1960's, to the March on Washington in 1979, where protesters called for equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered people. It all seemed as relevant today as it was then.
I edited together these speeches, then used a vintage 1940's suitcase to represent a journey and the displacement of people.
Have we learned from our past, or is history repeating?