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Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Murder of Crows

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Murder of Crows, installation view: Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin, 2009 [Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton AB, Feb 4-21] Courtesy the artists, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, Luhring Augustine, New York, Photo: Roman Mrz

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller

Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton AB – Jan 31-May 9, 2010
Emily Carr University of Art & Design, Vancouver BC – Feb 4-21, 2010

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are Canadian artists who explore sculptural and physical sound through elaborate and fascinating installations that raise questions about human perception and the experience of illusion versus reality.

First performed at the Sydney Biennial in 2008, The Murder of Crows is their largest installation to date. Cardiff and Miller employ and expand upon the technical processes they developed for such earlier works as The Forty Part Motet (2001), The Berlin Files (2003) and Pandemonium (2005). Ninety-eight audio speakers are mounted on stands, chairs and on the wall to create a sense of mourning at a crow funeral, with sounds flitting around the immense space like wild birds and bats. The three-part, 30-minute performance occupies the entire third floor of the new Art Gallery of Alberta. A more recent work entitled Storm Room (mixed media installation with a 10-minute sound-track) is also being mounted as part of the gallery's grand opening exhibition.

The Paradise Institute was installed in the Canadian pavilion at the 49th Venice Biennial in 2001 for which they not only received the Benesse Prize but became the first Canadians to win the Special Award at a Venice Biennial. Organized by the National Gallery of Canada, the work comes to Emily Carr University for 18 days as part of CODE Live, a 2010 Cultural Olympiad event of artworks and performances.

Janet Cardiff is a Canadian installation artist who studied at Queen's University and at the University of Alberta. As well as producing solo pieces, she has worked in collaboration with her partner George Bures Miller since 1995. Cardiff and Miller currently live and work in Berlin and British Columbia.

Cardiff represented Canada at the So Paulo Art Biennial (1998), and with Miller at the 6th Istanbul Biennial (1999). A major survey of their works toured in 2002-03 to PS1 Contemporary Art Center (MOMA), The Muse d'Art Contemporain, Montreal, the Castello Rivoli, Turin and the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art, Oslo. Their 2007 project, The Killing Machine and Other Stories (1995-2007), travelled to Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Institut Mathildenhhe Darmstadt, Germany, and the Miami Art Museum.


Mia Johnson

 Wed, Feb 17, 2010