press release

The V&A is staging its first sound exhibition Shhh... in May 2004. International musicians and artists, including David Byrne and Turner Prize winner Gillian Wearing, are creating new sound works using the V&A's diverse collections and stunning galleries for inspiration.

Shhh... takes visitors on a sound journey through the V&A. From the magnificent Raphael Gallery to the grand Victorian stairwells, a diverse group of ten artists and musicians - Cornelius, David Byrne, Elizabeth Fraser, Faultline, Gillian Wearing, Jane and Louise Wilson, Jeremy Deller, Leila, Roots Manuva and Simon Fisher Turner - have created unique responses to the objects and spaces in the museum. The journey begins in the V&A's Contemporary Space, where visitors collect headphones, a custom-made MP3 player and a map that leads them through the series of sound installations. Infra-red sensors throughout the museum trigger the 'in ear' soundtracks which vary dramatically from space to space, ranging from large-scale "soundscapes" to spoken pieces in response to a single art object.

Shhh... follows on from the critically acclaimed Friday Late contemporary live music series at the V&A - Shhh!!...Music for Museums which was launched in 2000.

Curators of Shhh... Shhh... is jointly curated by Lauren Parker, Curator of Contemporary Programmes at the V&A, and Jonny Dawe, an external curator and musician. Lauren Parker has curated numerous events at the V&A including the Friday Late programme and the innovative Shhh!!...Music for Museums series. She is author of Interplay: Interactive Design (published 2004). Jonny Dawe worked with the V&A's Contemporary Team to launch the Shhh!!...Music for Museums programme in 2000. He has performed with Collapsed Lung and recently with Junior Blanks and OSKAR, creating performances for Miu Miu's catwalk shows in Milan.

Shhh... features David Byrne is a New York-based musician, artist and composer whose varied musical career has spanned seminal band Talking Heads and film scores including Young Adam and The Last Emperor and critically acclaimed solo work. He releases Grown Backwards, his new solo album in March 2004. Alongside his musical work, Byrne is a well-respected artist and photographer. Recent projects include a sound installation Sonic Garden at the World Financial Center Winter Garden, New York, in 2002 and Envisioning Emotional Epistemological Information, a series of PowerPoint pieces accompanied by original music. Cornelius is one of Japan's most innovative and respected contemporary musicians. Cornelius presents Japanese pop at its most eclectic, invigorating and exciting. Elizabeth Fraser is best known for her unique vocal performances as part of influential UK band the Cocteau Twins. Her blend of haunting melodies and raw emotion has featured on collaborations with the band Massive Attack, and she has provided vocals for film soundtracks including Lord of the Rings. Faultline is a respected London-based musician and producer. He is best known for his albums Closer, Colder and Your Love Means Everything, which featured collaborations with The Flaming Lips, Chris Martin from Coldplay and Michael Stipe from REM. London-based artist Gillian Wearing is known for her clever and acutely poignant photography and video work. Winner of the prestigious Turner Prize in 1997, Wearing exposes the details of contemporary life with almost clinical detachment. Video artists Jane and Louise Wilson have created cinema-scale video installations that focus on institutional architecture and the collective fears and phobias it can carry. Their work explores how the concept of power is made physically present in architectural design. For the first time, Jane and Louise Wilson will be exploring these concerns through an audio rather than video response. Jeremy Deller is a London based artist. Much of his work is collaborative and includes Acid Brass: a music project working with brass bands, After the Goldrush 2002: a treasure hunt around California and the Artangel commission The Battle of Orgreave, which was a 1000 person reconstruction of a clash between pickets and the police from the 1984-5 miners' strike. He is a co-founder of Folk Archive, an ongoing collection and research into folk and vernacular art from the United Kingdom. Leila is a Persian born DJ, producer and composer who has released two albums - Like Weather and Courtesy of Choice and collaborated with Bjork. Roots Manuva is one of the most influential voices in the UK hip-hop scene, blending a heartfelt lyricism with the reggae sounds of the UK soundsystem culture. In 1999, Roots Manuva released Brand New Second Hand, followed by the release of Run Come Save Me and the 7" Witness to critical acclaim and commercial success. At a stroke, the market for hip-hop from the UK was thrown wide open by records that found Manuva described as 'the most significant and original new voice in hip hop' (The Independent). Simon Fisher Turner turns 50 this year. His most striking characteristic is his aptitude for change through a career spanning choirboy, child actor, and musician and composer. He has scored the soundtracks for films by Derek Jarman, Mike Hodges and Jean Genet, and collaborated with musicians from Jyoji Sawada and Terre Thaemlitz to Gilad Atzmon. Fisher Turner is currently recording new material for a DVD release in 2005. Pressetext

Shhh... - Sounds in spaces at the V&A
Arbeiten von Gillian Wearing, Cornelius, David Byrne, Elisabeth Fraser, Faultline, Jane & Louise Wilson, Jeremy Deller, Leila Arab, Roots Manuva, Simon Fisher Turner
Kuratoren: Lauren Parker, Jonny Dawe