The Kennedy Center

Lena Herzog


Lena Herzog (concept & direction) is a multimedia artist. She studied Philosophy and Linguistics (Philology), began working primarily in the field of photography and print making since 1997. Herzog is the author of six books of photography; her work has been widely published and reviewed by The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The New Yorker, The Paris Review among many others. She is a regular contributing artist to Harper’s Magazine. Her work has been collected and exhibited in major museums and institutions around the world. Herzog's immersive video and audio installation Last Whispers, Oratorio for Vanished Voices, Collapsing Universes and a Falling Tree premiered at The British Museum in 2016 and begins its world wide tour in 2019.

Upcoming Performances

Video 2/24/2019: Lena Herzog: Last Whispers

Last Whispers is a multi-media event. A video / audio installation and a virtual reality experience—an immersive oratorio—dedicated to the extinction of languages.

"A very haunting and singular experience.” —Alex Ross, music critic for The New Yorker magazine and author of The Rest Is Noise

A Sundance Film Festival 2019 New Frontier special feature, Last Whispers 7 min VR, will be projected to the audience after the 46 min video / audio installation. This multi-media event will be followed by a panel discussion.

In Lena Herzog’s oratorio, image and sound are poetically linked through 3D animation, drone video footage, and still images in black and white. Composed of historical linguistic recordings punctuated by the sound of collapsing stars, Last Whispers is a chorus of extinct and endangered languages, both spoken and sung. This U.S. premiere is presented in partnership with the The Smithsonian as part of the Millennium Stage program series—at the Kennedy Center Terrace Theater.

Last Whispers was created in collaboration with The Endangered Languages Documentation Programme and The SOAS World Languages Institute, SOAS, University of London, and the participation of The Smithsonian, The Rosetta Project as well as other major world language archives.

Free general admission tickets--up to two per person—will be distributed in the States Gallery, beginning at 5 p.m.

Feb 24 - Lena Herzog