Cease. Fire. Sound Installation

13 Jun 2024 – 16 Jun 2024

Regular hours

Thu, 13 Jun
12:00 – 16:00
Fri, 14 Jun
12:00 – 16:00
Sat, 15 Jun
12:00 – 16:00
Sun, 16 Jun
12:00 – 16:00

Free admission

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4 Garden Walk

England, United Kingdom

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“Cease. Fire”. features 20 cassette players hanging from the ceiling in a grid, playing looped recordings from social media videos and news reports from conflict zones. Exploring the anxiety and disconnection we often have when we encounter war footage / reports.


“Cease. Fire”. features 20 cassette players hanging from the ceiling in a grid playing looped recordings from conflict zones; social media videos, news reports and propaganda films. Sounds include grenades being fired at tanks, bombs, rockets, people hiding from gunmen and children being mortally wounded.

They’re taken from recordings Matthew has collected over the last two years from Ukraine, Russia, Israel and Palestine, to create an installation that explores the disconnection and anxiety we often have when we experience war media.

“The idea for “Cease. Fire”. originally came from the 2020 Beirut Explosion and me trying to process it. I was about to video call a friend in Beirut and he was running a couple of minutes late, when suddenly he sent me a distressed voice message saying 'It’s the port or something…” and I could hear glass shattering, sirens and panicked people in the background. I was sitting on my own in London during lock down in shock, “what. was. that?” Then 15 minutes later the news reports started coming in."

“Drawn to global incidents and conflicts, how they’re depicted in the media and how they affect us. Beirut, George Floyd, Ukraine-Russia or Israel-Palenstine. I often find myself avoiding the news and avoiding these clips on social media as they make me feel incredibly anxious, hopeless and helpless. They’re freely shared, often promoted, by millions of people who are facing infinitely less danger. It’s really hard to reconcile or make sense of the movement of this information and how decontextualised it can be. I think this installation is me trying to figure that out."

“Since I can remember I've been drawn to people, places and ideas that are often overlooked and underrepresented and after Beirut I became fixated on the sounds in these clips. They can be so visceral but, when we hear them they’re massively decontextualised. At the source of these recordings there’s life-changing, horrific events. Explosions that have leveled apartment buildings, shopping malls, whole city blocks, people dying or scared for their lifes. We consume and share it on social media for content, views, clicks. I wanted to express the stress and anxiety I feel when thinking about these events and the people involved and highlight this privalidged distance we have, pysically and emotionally.

“By experiencing these recordings in this way, through 20 small speakers, it forces you to focus on these sounds, events that changed peoples lives, and process what they are and where they came from. What was that? Why were they there? What made that sound? Did people die? What actually happened? Who recorded it and why? Why do we consume so much of it?”

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Exhibiting artistsToggle

Matthew Wilcock


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