Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
Mar 20 - May 1, 2010
Luhring Augustine is pleased to present an exhibition of new work by the collaborative team Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. This marks Cardiff and Miller's third solo exhibition at the gallery.
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are internationally recognized for their immersive multimedia works. Incorporating dramatic audio tracks into their visually striking installations, the artists create engaging and transcendent multisensory experiences which draw the viewer into ambiguous and unsettling narratives. Their works address grand themes such as time, voyeurism, dreams, and mystery. Providing only fragments of information, the completion of the storylines, images and thoughts are left to be formed in the minds of the individual viewers.
Cardiff and Miller's new installation, The Carnie, combines the artists' interests in spectacle, narrative, and sculptural sound. A small children's' carousel is activated by a start button. It grinds slowly up to speed, while lights and music emanate from the structure and moving shadows are cast onto the walls. Working with Freida Abtan, an electronic composer, Cardiff and Miller deconstruct the musical source and relocate it throughout the structure of the carousel so that the movement of the sound occurs horizontally as well as vertically. The results transform the carnival ride into a layered and evocative encounter.
In marked contrast to this large-scale installation, Cardiff and Miller have created a series of works that turns their interest in sound away from the grand spectacle of the amusement park to focus instead on the intimacy of the telephone. Upon lifting a receiver from a collection of freestanding vintage telephones, the viewer hears Cardiff's voice recounting a dream. These works continue Cardiff and Miller's interest in the telephone as a mechanism for story-telling while furthering their exploration of the narrative potential of dreams.
The second gallery will feature another new work, The Cabinet of Curiousness, an antique wooden card catalogue with 20 drawers. Functioning as an interactive piece, the opening of each drawer activates a voice or piece of music from within the cabinet. The audience, assuming the role of a DJ, may experience the clarity of sound from one drawer or a cacophony of sounds from numerous drawers opened simultaneously as the cabinet is played like an instrument. A contrast emerges between the obsolete system of cataloguing single pieces of data and our current tendency to inundate ourselves with excessive information. An investigation of knowledge, time, and our relationship to objects and music, The Cabinet of Curiousness creates a playful aural experience.
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller live and work in Grindrod, British Columbia and Berlin, Germany. Recent solo exhibitions have been held at The Hamburger Banhoff, Berlin, Modern Art Oxford, The Fruitmarket, Edinburgh, the Miami Art Museum, the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona, the Mathildenhöhe, Darmstatdt, as well as numerous other international venues. Their work has been presented at several prestigious institutions, including MoMA, New York, the Art Gallery of Alberta, Edmonton, San Francisco MOMA, the Carnegie International, Pittsburgh, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, New York, and the Tate Modern, London. Representing Canada at the 2001 Venice Biennale, Cardiff and Miller received the Biennale's Premio Prize and Benesse Prize.