Silent Cacophony

November 2013
Silent Cacophony

Anna Orhanen

Silent Cacophony was a series of live performance installations that took place simultaneously across England and internationally, for Remembrance Day, highlighting the tragic shift war inflicts on people’s lives.

Backgrounds

For 2013 remembrance, Platform-7’s annual signature event focused on the silence perceived during war. Hugely ambitious, the event had some of the county’s leading cutting edge artists and prestigious universities participating and took place in multiple locations across London and around the world.

Zeppelin Attacks

Through both World Wars, Britain faced aerial attacks aimed at the civilian population that killed many and had a psychological intention. The first of these attacks, in 1915, was by Zeppelins, huge airships filled with hydrogen that could fly up to 50mph over long distances and, at cruising height with cloud cover, could barely be heard from the ground. The Zeppelin assaults created terror amongst the population, as often, only when bombs began exploding were people first aware of an attack. As Hitler’s war faltered in 1945, he resorted to trying to recreate this terror with his highly advanced V2 rockets, which could travel great distance before silently falling on a random target.

1/2

Simultaneous Locations

Silent Cacophony took place across 30 London locations, other areas in the UK and internationally on Remembrance Day 2013

Sudden Explosion

For 2013 Remembrance Day Platform-7 created a series of performances, financially supported by Arts Council England, SHM Foundation and Queen Mary, University of London in locations that became casualties of these attacks. Performance interventions of various art forms suddenly appeared throughout Monday 11th November, representing the sudden explosions and randomness of these events. Each performance told the story of its own particular location, as if the memory were being conveyed by the place itself rather than a person.

Accompanying Academic AHRC Report

Abstract

The focus of this project is not to evaluate the success or impact of the event/events that Platform-7 (P7) curate; rather it seeks to discover the ways of working, and future directions that P7 may take. We want to understand process and outcomes in a broader context. In this sense we are not interested in the audience, we bracket it out. Instead we look at the process and the impact on the artists and artistic practice. This marks out this piece of work, and makes it innovative in the perspective and approach from the normative concern with evaluation of outputs in the form of audience reaction. We offer a complementary perspective. Accordingly our concern is with practice and process. P7 is an unorthodox organisation and accordingly we have taken a more anthropological perspective and suspended normative assumptions about what should, or we might expect to, happen: we follow what does happen, and the accounts of the (artistic) participants.