The Missing is a continuing work of exploration and discovery, taking in London and the Thames, missing people, the afterlife, ghosts and mediums. The projects within The Missing have been funded by Arts Council England, and supported by Somerset House and the Courtauld Institute of Art.
Requiem for the Missing, is the project’s first creation. It is a performance art piece which was first performed by a choir of hooded monks, walking in procession around the courtyard of Somerset House and proceeding to The Courtauld Institute of Art. The requiem contrasts dramatic scenes of a decaying body with ethereal visions of heaven. It includes traditional texts from the Requiem Mass, as well as Buddhist meditations and 18th century coroners’ reports.
The outdoor audio installation, Séance, also first peformed in the historic courtyard of Somerset House, is a collaboration between sound artist, Scanner and Troy Banarzi. It uses recordings of real séances and text from contemporary police missing reports, to produce a poignant and haunting piece of sound art.
Requiem for the Missing is based on five texts: Psalm 88, The Nine Cemetery Contemplations, Pie Jesu, A Woman Unknown and In Paradisum.
Psalm 88 – The darkest of all the psalms, ending without resolution “You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness is my closest friend.”
The Nine Cemetery Contemplations – A meditation taught by Buddha, where practitioners visualise the human body in various stages of decay.
Pie Jesu – A traditional addition to the Requiem mass translated as “O sweet Lord Jesus, grant them rest; grant them everlasting rest.”
A Woman Unknown - Excerpts from a 1760 Westminster inquest, describing the body of a woman found in the Thames near London Bridge.
In Paradisum – the traditional ending to the Requiem Mass, describing angels leading the departed into paradise.