Luhring Augustine is pleased to present The Marionette Maker, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s fourth solo exhibition with the gallery. The artists have been collaborating since 1995, and are internationally recognized for their immersive multimedia works that often engage viewers in mysterious and dreamlike narratives.
Cardiff and Miller’s kinetic installation The Marionette Maker (2014) comprises a full-scale vintage caravan that houses myriad characters in a haunting environment. The interior of the trailer reveals the fantastic world of a marionette maker (a marionette himself), who is hunched over a desk drafting designs. Viewers are able to walk around the camper and peer inside the puppets’ domain, as well as sit in theater seats adjacent to the trailer to watch the characters perform an opera. Recordings of forests and rainstorms emanate from rotating speakers above the trailer, overlapping with music made by the robotically controlled marionettes positioned throughout the installation. The audio elements continually intermingle, further enveloping the audience into the immersive, voyeuristic environment.
Cardiff and Miller’s interactive Experiment in F# Minor (2013) will be on view in the second gallery. The work is an instrument of the artists’ creation, consisting of an array of speakers on a large table. As the viewer approaches it, his or her shadow triggers light sensors, causing individual speakers to emit diverse recordings in the key of F# minor. As the visitors’ movement “plays” the piece, their motion creates a unique musical arrangement, synthesizing tracks and creating unforeseen compositions that at times results in a cacophony of sound.
Cardiff (1957, Brussels, Ontario) and Miller (1960, Vegreville, Alberta) work in Grindrod, British Columbia. The artists have had solo shows at international venues including ARoS Aarhus Art Museum; Vancouver Art Gallery; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego, La Jolla, CA; The Menil Collection, Houston, TX; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Modern Art Oxford; Miami Art Museum; Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona; and Mathildenhöhe, Darmstadt. Their work has also been included in recent group exhibitions and biennales such as the 19th Biennale of Sydney in 2014 and dOCUMENTA (13) in 2012. Representing Canada at the 2001 Venice Biennale, the artists received the Biennale's Premio Prize and Benesse Prize. The Marionette Maker was first presented by Madrid’s Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía at the Palacio de Cristal in 2014.