In their joint works, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller examine in a complex way the conditions of memory and narration, of experiencing oneself and the other, of authorship, intimacy, sound, and image.
Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller
In their joint works, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller examine in a complex way the conditions of memory and narration, of experiencing oneself and the other, of authorship, intimacy, sound, and image. With their multimedia installations, such as The Paradise Institute, which they conceived for the Canadian pavilion of the Venice Biennial in 2001, or The Berlin Files created in 2003 for Portikus, they aim at expanding with an innovative multimedia practice our experiences of viewing film and video and examining the conditions of production and the possibilities of modern technology.
After their solo exhibition in 1997, we are delighted to present four new works by this Canadian artist couple living in Berlin.
In the stair-well leading to the gallery, the visitor already encounters a sound installation consisting of an old-fashioned plastic speaker emitting long drawn-out sounds faintly reminiscent of a human voice. One can presume this to be a manipulated recording of a voice. The title, Counting Slowly, reveals what it is about.
In the entrance space of the gallery, the visitor is greeted by an office-like situation comprised of a desk with a 1960s-style swivelling telephone. The installation remains uncannily silent. As soon as the visitor picks up the receiver, though, he or she can eavesdrop on a seemingly conspiratorial, pseudo-scientific conversation on the meaning and perception of time. This surprising sound effect from the receiver transforms the silent arrangement of furniture and devices into a cinematic event.
The installation Road Trip is at the centre of the exhibition, inviting the viewer to a 15-minute slide show. Historical pictures of a journey through Canada ending in New York, mostly with a red or blue cast, are projected on a screen, while from the speakers a conversation between the artists can be heard. Their commentaries give the impression that they are looking at found image material for the first time and thus gaining new insights into their past. At the same time, however, they discuss in a quite direct way their approach to producing the installation Road Trip itself. The slide projector mysteriously coordinates with the virtual discussion, moving back and in response to their comments.
In the video (plasma screen) and sound installation Night Canoeing, one sees a mysterious image of water, light and steam. Snippets of a riverâ€™s edge reveal that you are in a boat, part of a journey on a river at night. As both film and sound were recorded directly from the boat, one never sees the canoe itself but only the surroundings. Moreover, because the viewer is in the position of the camera or the canoeist the sound of the rhythmic paddling reinforces the atmosphere charged with tension.
Solo exhibitions since 2001 (selection)
2001: The Paradise Institute, 49. Biennale di Venezia, Canadian Pavillion; Janet Cardiff. A Survey of Works including Collaborations with George Bures Miller, P.S.1, New York. 2002: Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin. 2003: The Berlin Files, Portikus, Frankfurt/Main; Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London. 2004: Walking throu', Space in Progress 1&2, Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Space in Progress und Atelierhaus der Akademie der bildenden KÃ¼nste Wien, Vienna; Janet Cardiff: Her long black hair. An Audio Walk in Central Park, presented by Public Art Fund, New York
In the image: 'The Paradise Institute', 2001, lnstallation view, Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin
September 18â€“November 13, 2004
Opening: Saturday, September 18, 6-9 pm
Opening hours: Tuesdayâ€“Saturday 11 am-6 pm
Galerie Barbara Weiss / Art Forum Berlin, 18 - 22. September 2004
Hall 20, Stand 134
Laura Horelli: You Go Where You're Sent, 2003
Constisting of a film (20 min.) and 7 photographs
Made in Berlin
Galerie Barbara Weiss
Zimmerstrasse 88-89 10117 Berlin