Voices of Memory

Artist Name(s) Christina Kubisch
Artwork title Voices of Memory
Context/Background Voices of Memory was commissioned by Goethe-Institut Irland in partnership with Dublin City Council with the support of the OPW and the Trustees of the Irish National War Memorial Gardens. 

A riverside sound-art installation at the Irish National War Memorial Gardens

Located along the banks of the River Liffey at the Memorial Gardens in Islandbridge, Dublin, Voices of Memory, is a contemporary sound artwork by internationally renowned artist Christina Kubisch. designed as a commemoration of the First World War. 

During a site visit to Memorial Gardens in April 2014, Kubisch saw the Ireland’s Memorial Records 1914–1918 designed by renowned Irish artist Harry Clarke. These records list all the Irish men that died fighting during WW1.This aspect of the visit had such profound influence on the artist that she was inspired to create the sound artwork using these names. In November 2015 and April 2016 people were invited to volunteer to read the names from the records that would then be transformed into a sound installation.

The piece’s structure is centred on the recorded names, but they have been subtly and melodically altered in eight different ways. This echoes the mathematical symmetries related to the war and the records, e.g, there are four years in the war, eight volumes of records, two columns of eight names per page and eight print designs by Harry Clarke used in the Memorial Records.

Playing over the bank of the river through four speakers, the flow of names expresses something of the seemingly endless lists of the dead in these records.  The work also incorporates contemporary sounds of the River Liffey that were recorded with the use of a hydrophone (underwater microphone). In this way Voices of Memory is a call to, not only remember the past, but to also be aware of our ever-changing present.  


Christina Kubisch, Artist;  Eckerhardt Güther, Sound Engineering; Technical direction: Dipl. Ing. Manfred Fox; Fergus Kelly, Sound Technician

Thomas Lier, Commissioner and Director of Goethe-Insitut Irland;  Ruairí Ó CuÍv Curator  and Public Art Manager, Dublin City Council ;  Barbara Ebert, Goethe-Institut Irland; Margaret Gormley, Parks Superintendant OPW; Gerry O’ Donoghue, OPW, Annette Nugent, Publicty and Promotion,  Franziska Hülshoff, Project Intern and Website Editor; Liv Laumenech Project Co-ordinator and Public Art Assistant;  Kate McBride Volunteer Co-ordinator;  Prof David Fitzpatrick and Sven Anderson–commissioned essays; Photography, Eugene Lagan ; Signage, Source Design; Flyer and Invitation Design Avalanche Design.


Christina Kubisch, born 1948 in Bremen, studied painting, music and electronics. Her work includes sound installations, sound sculptures, video and  performances  as well as electroacoustic compositions.

Since 1974 her work has been shown internationally at museums, galleries and festivals, including: the Venice Biennale (1980/82); documenta 8, Kassel (1987); Ars electronica, Linz (1987/2010); Biennale of Sydney (1990); Sonambiente, Berlin (1996/2006); Sonic Boom, London (2000); sounding spaces, Tokyo (2003); Resonanzen (2005) and Sound Art (2012), ZKM, Karlsruhe among many  others.

Kubisch was  professor for Audiovisual Arts at the Academy of Fine Arts, Saarbrücken from 1994–2013 and is a member of the Akademie der Künste Berlin. Since 1975 releases at various record labels, including Cramps Records, Editionen RZ, ampersand, semishigure, Die Schachtel, Olof Bright, Important Records, Gruenrekorder.

Commission Type Local Authority
Commissioner Name Goethe-Institut Irland, Dublin City Council
Commissioning process Direct Commission
Public Presentation dates June 29, 2016 - September 29, 2016
Partners Dublin City Council, Goethe- Insitut Irland, Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht, OPW, and Trustees of National War Memorial Gardens
Percent for art Yes
Budget Range 35000 - 70000 euro
Location National War Memorial Gardens, Islandbridge, Dublin County.
County Dublin
Town Dublin
Content contributor(s) Christina Kubisch, Artist; Ruairí Ó Cuív, Curator and Public Art Manager; Liv Laumenech, Public Art Assistant
Relationship to project Christina Kubisch, Artist; Ruairí Ó Cuív, Curator and Public Art Manager; Liv Laumenech, Public Art Assistant
Public engagement

The installation is on public display from 30 June 2016. Its commencement symbolically coincides with the hundredth anniversary of the beginning of the Battle of the Somme (1 July 1916). It runs daily from 12–8pm until 30 September 2016.

See: https://www.goethe.de/ins/ie/en/kul/sup/vom.html



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