November 7, 2007 - Miami Art Museum - The Killing Machine and Other Stories
November 7, 2007

The Killing Machine and Other Stories

Janet Cardiff — George Bures Miller
The Killing Machine
Mixed media audio installation.
Courtesy the artists
Copyright: Photo: Seber Ugarte


October 21, 2007 – January 20, 2008

Miami Art Museum and Freedom Tower
101 West Flagler Street
Miami, FL 33130

Miami Art Museum presents 11 installations by Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. The first exhibition in the Museum’s new collaboration with Miami Art Central (MAC@MAM) Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: The Killing Machine and Other Stories 1995-2007 premiered on October 21, 2007 and remains on view through January 20, 2008. This exhibition is presented in two locations: Miami Art Museum and Freedom Tower, both in downtown Miami.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: The Killing Machine and Other Stories 1995-2007 was organized by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the Institut Mathildenhöhe (Darmstadt, Germany). The exhibition premiered at the MACBA and was on view at the Institut Mathildenhöhe before traveling to Miami.

The Killing Machine and Other Stories 1995-2007 features11 installations that weave together independent but complementary experiences. Each piece moves to its own time and rhythm, uniting sound with moving image in order to produce stories that live side by side in time. The installation that gives the exhibition its name, The Killing Machine (2007), is based on Franz Kafka’s story In the Penal Colony. A reflection on the use of the death penalty in the United States, the piece seems to invite the spectator to approach it, while simultaneously arousing a feeling of rejection. Also on view will be The Paradise Institute which was created for the Canadian Pavilion of the 2001 Venice Biennial and won both the Biennale di Venezia Special Award and the Benesse Prize.

“We are thrilled to launch our MAC@MAM exhibition series with the U.S. premiere of these groundbreaking works by Janet Cardiff and George Miller,” said Terence Riley, Director of Miami Art Museum. “Visitors will find themselves transported to and immersed in new, dreamlike worlds. This exhibition continues both MAM’s and MAC’s shared mission to make the work of living artists readily accessible to the people of Miami and the region.”

Since the early nineties, the husband-and-wife team of Cardiff and Miller have worked together on installations in which they use sound as the principal subject and raw material to create memorable spatial environments. Using binaural recording techniques to create three-dimensional sound spaces, their audio installations challenge the visitor’s sensory experiences, pitting the sense of hearing in opposition with the sense of sight. Their installations also unite forms of high culture such as opera, German Expressionist cinema and French New Wave films with popular culture, such as B-movies, rock and roll and radio broadcasts.

In addition to their collaborations, both artists work separately and the exhibition includes examples of individual productions by each artist. The Freedom Tower venue at 600 Biscayne Boulvard, will feature Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet, based on a 16th century choral piece -Spem in Alium by Thomas Tallis. Cardiff embodied Tallis’ composition for 40 voices in an oval arrangement of 40 speakers, one for each voice in the composition. By moving around and through the space Cardiff created, participants can experience the piece just as it is perceived by the performers themselves. At MAM, Miller’s Imbalance 6 (Jump) (1998) which consists of a television suspended from the ceiling by a cable which seemingly reacts to the screen image of the artist’s jumping feet will be on view.

The installation of Cardiff’s Forty Part Motet at Freedom Tower is Tuesday through Saturday from 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm. There is no admission charge at Freedom Tower.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: The Killing Machine and Other Stories 1995-2007 is organized and co-produced by the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) and the Institut Mathildenhöhe (Darmstadt, Germany) in collaboration with Miami Art Museum. In Miami, it is a MAC@MAM program coordinated by Adjunct Curator Rina Carvajal. The Freedom Tower venue is courtesy of Terra Group.

Major support is provided by the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation in partnership with Porsche Cars North America.

Additional support is provided by Terra Group, The Consulate General of Canada in Miami and MAM’s Annual Exhibition Fund.

MAC@MAM is an innovative collaboration between two major Miami cultural institutions. Merging MAC’s cutting-edge exhibitions into MAM’s nationally recognized museum program, MAC@MAM provides an exciting new contemporary art resource in Miami’s thriving arts community. Conceived by MAC founder and MAM Trustee Ella Fontanals-Cisneros, together with the leadership of Miami Art Museum, MAC@MAM enhances and expands Miami Art Museum’s contemporary programs in anticipation of the museum’s move to a state-of-the-art new waterfront building designed by architects Herzog and de Meuron in 2011.

Miami Art Museum
Miami Art Museum is dedicated to engaging the public with art from the twentieth century through the present. Since its founding in 1996, the Museum has built a collection of contemporary art with the goal of providing Miami with a legacy for future generations. MAM’s collection has grown exponentially since Art in America called it “the quintessential Miami collection” in 1999. The MAM collection is dedicated to international art of the 20th and 21st centuries, taking a hemispheric perspective of the Americas.

Open Tuesday through Friday – 10 AM to 5 PM, Saturday and Sunday – noon to 5 PM. Closed Monday. Admission for MAM members, children under 12 and students (with valid ID) is free. Free admission second Saturdays.

Miami Art Museum
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