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Impressions Gallery

exhibitions: past

The Last Things

David Moore

18th Sep - 08th Nov 2009

The Last Things provides an exclusive glimpse of the Ministry of Defence’s secret crisis management centre beneath the streets of central London.

Over an eight-month period in 2006 and 2007, David Moore was allowed unprecedented access to one of the inner sanctums of government. This secret space, only to be used in a major national emergency, hides a strictly controlled working environment continuously on stand-by. Moore’s large-scale colour photographs reveal a claustrophobic, artificially lit, and air-conditioned environment in which a looming sense of threat is ever present. Devoid of people, these sterile decontamination suites, broadcast studios and briefing rooms are tempered by occasional humanising details, such as the stack of cold war thrillers in the Duty Officer’s quarters.

Although Moore enjoyed relatively free access to all parts of the facility, small areas of certain images have been digitally altered at the request of the MoD to protect what they consider to be sensitive information. This hints at the complex relationship between the MoD and the British public, and the balance between national security and freedom of information.

David Moore has been described by writer Iain Sinclair as 'photographer of secret spaces'. Describing a world both technologically sophisticated and touchingly ordinary, The Last Things is a disturbing document of an environment most of us will never see.

Showing as part of Underground, a season exploring subterranean experiences in the cultural imagination through exhibitions, talks and events.

The Last Things is a University of Hertfordshire Galleries touring exhibition.

Exhibition resources

Click here to download an information sheet about The Last Things

What the papers say

British Journal of Photography (pdf 216kb)
Blue Print (pdf 1.3mb)

foto8 (pdf 184kb)

Yorkshire Post (pdf 668kb)

Telegraph & Argos (pdf 588kb)
Mail on Sunday (pdf 808kb)

Decontamination Suite

Decontamination Suite

David Moore

Click on thumbnail below to enlarge

Decontamination Suite Emergency Briefing Room Senior Bunkroom Annex to Emergency Briefing Room Broadcast Studio

Comments

The quality of the prints were outstanding.

Exhibitions Visitor

Very stark, very interesting- surprised how basic it seems and bland and how shabby it seemed (in part) interesting, stark and a little depressing, very fascinating.

Exhibitions Visitor

Very saddened to see the map of Iran amongst the impressions on the National threat. What are they trying to imply ??? Is it going to be UKs next target of destruction ??? I wonder !!

Exhibitions Visitor

Impressive how such shots and images are never made common to the common member of society. These are valuable, insightful and incredible messages. Very well taken and thumbs up on the portrayal

Exhibitions Visitor

The element of stillness, emptiness and mundane has been clearly captured. It is interesting to see how ordinary something- supposedly extraordinary is. many thanks

Exhibitions visitor

I went there with my college, part of my capture unit and I have been asked to write a report about this particular exhibition and I have found that even the simplest images can show so much.

Joanna Rawnsley

I called into the gallery today and was made to feel
very welcome by those on reception. They seemed to have an in depth knowledge on aspects of photography related to film and processing. The
gallery spaces are as ever are always beautifully presented and lit. We are indeed lucky to have such a space in the centre of the city.

exhibitions visitor

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