Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
This article is from 2008.
Duo’s sculpture, collage and animation create a sensual narrative
Husband and wife duo Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are quite possibly the most vibrant artistic force to have emerged from Canada in recent years. Certainly, this show will be one of the least missable exhibitions of the Festival period, as their home country’s 2001 Venice Biennale representatives create work which is both thought-provoking and sensually unforgettable.
Using a combination of sculpture, sound collage, carefully-designed narrative and mechanical animation, Cardiff and Miller’s art takes the form of spaces and devices which come with a built-in soundtrack that’s usually activated by the viewer. Not quite a retrospective - the artists’ many works are created on too large a scale to make that practical - the show will feature three works from throughout their career.
‘Dark Pool’ is an early piece from 1995, a cluttered workroom with its own audio story, while the more recent ‘Opera for a Small Room’ synchs eight record players to create a unique soundtrack. ‘The Killing Machine’ is a horrifying interpretation of the methodical nature of the death penalty and state-sanctioned torture. Canadian film director Atom Egoyan once wrote this of a piece by Cardiff: ‘“Whispering Room” was an experience of installation art as a forum for dramatic storytelling. It made me feel inspired.’
Fruitmarket Gallery, Market Street, 0131 225 2383, 31 Jul—28 Sep, free.