Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller

This article is from 2008

Janet Cardiff

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.

Edinburgh Art Festival

Scotland's largest annual celebration of visual art offers work by the best contemporary Scottish artists as well as exhibitions of the most important international artists and movements of the 20th century and other historical periods.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

  • 5 stars

A first chance for Scottish audiences to experience the work of one of the most internationally-respected artist partnerships. Six different, immersive installation works which combine image, video, sound and music, as well as architectural and sculptural installation, draw audiences into a highly credible fictional world…

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