Image courtesy of the artist. “Silent Room,” Simon Heijdens 2016.
“Silent Room,” an installation by Dutch artist Simon Heijdens, will be exhibited at the Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. from January 26 to February 1.
“Silent Room” is a space devoid of sound or color. As such, it offers an immersive experience of silence and peace, a rare and unmediated moment of reflection in the sensory overload of the outside environment.
Visitors enter the 40-foot-long room alone, excluded from any visual or audible manifestation other than themselves. Eventually, as ears and senses adapt to the silence, the visitor becomes the sound. What does this state of silence do to one’s body and mind? Is it indeed peaceful, or rather unbalancing?
Simon Heijdens, in collaboration with the Acoustics Program of the University of Texas, developed the sound-proofing technology for “Silent Room.” The project was commissioned by SXSW, the annual film, interactive media and music festival in Austin, Texas, where it was first exhibited in March 2016. Festival-goers waited in line for hours to undergo an unusual minute of silence.
Simon Heijdens’ site-specific installations aim to trace and reveal the hidden essence and character of the spaces that surround us in everyday life. Based in London, the works of the Dutch artist have been widely exhibited all over the world. His projection works of living digital organisms, “Tree” and “Lightweeds,” have been installed in more than 50 public spaces, museums and galleries. His works are included in the permanent collections of MoMA New York, the Art Institute of Chicago, Boijmans van Beuningen Museum Rotterdam, and the Victoria & Albert Museum London.
“Silent Room” will open for visitors on Thursday, January 26, at 12 p.m. in the presence of the artist, and can be visited on weekdays from 12-2 p.m. and on the weekend from 12-4 p.m. through February 1.
If you would like to experience “Silent Room,” please register at firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of visitors, their names, and the desired date and time of visit. The embassy is located at 4200 Linnean Ave. NW, Washington, D.C.