July 31, 2008 - The Fruitmarket Gallery - Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
July 31, 2008

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, Dark Pool, 1995
Courtesy Barbara Weiss, Luhring Augustine Gallery and the artists

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
The House Of Books Has No Windows
31 July – 28 September 2008

Edinburgh Art Festival Exhibition
Organised in collaboration
with Modern Art Oxford
45 Market Street
P +44 (0) 131 225 2383
F +44 (0) 131 220 3130
info [​at​] fruitmarket.co.uk


A rare chance to experience the work of one of the most internationally respected artist partnerships, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Cardiff/Miller’s collaborative installations are multi-layered, multi-media experiences. Using objects, images and sound, they collage together impressions and experiences, memory and history, mixing
references to high and popular culture in works which draw an audience into a series of intensely credible fictional worlds.

Canadian artists Cardiff and Miller have been at the forefront of international attention since The Paradise Institute won a special jury prize at the 2001 Venice Biennale. This exhibition brings together six installations, made between 1995 and 2008, and includes a specially commissioned new work.

The six installations in the exhibition entice the viewer into six new worlds,each using whatever means it needs to transport us somewhere else. In one room, we peer into a mini cinema, screening a five-minute mid-western film noir. As we watch, we become part both of the film and the audience, phantom fellow cinema-goers whispering in our ears. Opening an old door into another room, we think we must have strayed into the artists’ studio: a room stuffed with books, record players, speakers, models, notes, drawings and peculiar mechanical devices, all of which start to tell us stories as we wander amongst them, triggering snippets of sound as we go.

Two recent works form the spectacular highlight of the exhibition. Opera for a Small Room (2005) is an installation of 2,000 records, eight robotically-controlled record players and 24 speakers. In a 20-minute, automated performance which collages together arias from Italian operas; rock music; a recording of a stage hypnotist from the 1970s; the sound of rain and a train; and the lonely musings of an opera-lover alone in his room in the middle of nowhere, the piece mesmerises us, as much a piece of theatre as an installation. The Killing Machine (2007) is a darker, bleaker piece, a robotic machine inspired partly by the artists’ hatred of the American system of capital punishment, and partly by Franz Kafka’s chilling short story In The Penal Colony.

Cardiff/Miller’s work has never before been seen in Scotland, and rarely in Great Britain. Original, imaginative and performative, it is a coup for The Fruitmarket Gallery and a treat for its audiences.

Notes to editors
1. Janet Cardiff was born in 1957, Brussels, Ontario, Canada and George Bures Miller in 1960, Vegreville, Alberta, Canada. They both live and work in Berlin, Germany, and Grindrod, British Columbia, Canada.

2. Cardiff/Miller are presenting Murder of Crows, a new multi-media audio installation at the 16th Sydney Biennale, Australia – 18 June – 7 September 2008. In 2007 The Killing Machine and Other Stories 1995–2007 was presented at Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), Barcelona, Spain, and Institut Mathildenhöhe Darmstadt, Germany and MAM Miami Art Museum, Miami, USA.

3. There will be a two-volume publication produced to accompany the exhibition, which will act both as a catalogue to the exhibition and a compendium of notes and drawings for as yet unrealised works. With one volume containing texts on and images of the works exhibited, and the other bringing together sketches, drawings, notes and ideas for works that either may or may not one day be made, the publication offers a range of routes in to the Cardiff/Miller imagination.

4. This exhibition is organised in collaboration with Modern Art Oxford and will be shown at Modern Art Oxford from 14 October 2008 – 18 January 2009

The Fruitmarket Gallery
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