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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