Janet Cardiff

Janet Cardiff was born on March 15, 1957. She is a Canadian artist who works chiefly with sound and sound installations; especially a form she calls audio walks. She works in collaboration with her husband and partner George Bures Miller. They have been working together since the mid 1990s, creating illusionary spaces in which the acoustic perception of sound, as well as its sculptural and physical qualities, play a role. Their installations incorporate visual art, audio plays, film, and theater and have been seen in many solo exhibitions at institutions.

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A remarkable thing about Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s utterly captivating sound installation is how it blurs distinctions between site and art.  For example, in “The Forest”, On a sunny day you hear the rustling breeze, but also the recording of a dramatically escalating wind that sounds intensely real. You sonically register that a storm is approaching, even though your eyes tell you otherwise; when you hear a branch loudly snap overhead, you become instantly fearful and flinch. The recorded sounds move in a sphere around you, and you feel as if you’re in the shifting presence of history. There are the sounds of war like whistling screeches, big explosions, the rat-a-tat of machine gun fire. There is a brief but shocking scream, a crashing tree, sounds of a mother and child, clanging metal. Singers come close, but then leave. You hear the trees and the wind again, and the crickets and birds. In turn frightening and deeply touching, ominous and serene, Cardiff and Bures Miller’s forest soundscape is a wonder in the park, and one of the best works in the whole exhibition.

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As we can see and hear from her art works like “The Forest” and “The Forty Part Motet”, she has a great talent in bringing music and sound to the life.

 

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