P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center presents Janet Cardiff: A Survey of Works including collaborations with George Bures Miller, the first mid-career survey of the Canadian artist's artwork. The exhibition includes a selection of the artist's most significant installations as well as a survey of her "Walks." Curated by P.S.1 Senior Curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, the show brings together all of Cardiff's major installations, including To Touch (1993), The Dark Pool (1995), Playhouse (1997), The Muriel Lake Incident (1999), and Forty-Part Motet (2001), and is the first and most comprehensive survey of Cardiff's work to date.
Cardiff (b. 1957) has gained international recognition for her audio and video "Walks" in which visitors, while listening to a CD walkman or watching the screen of a camcorder, follow the artist's directions through a site and become involved in the stories embedded in Cardiff's recorded instructions and suggestions. Voices, footsteps, music, sounds of cars, and gunshots make up a fictional soundtrack to an actual walk through real indoor and outdoor spaces. Cardiff's works involve the conventions of cinema and science fiction and explore the complexity of subjectivity in today's highly technological world, where the distinction between sensation and imagination continuously collapses. In Cardiff's "Walks," characters narrate dream-like recollections of particular events and refer to the participant's physical surroundings. Shifting between past and present, memory and reality, Cardiff's stories become a manipulation of the "real" and of a participant's projections, fantasies, and desires. This survey will present documentation of Cardiff's most significant "Walks" in a unique and innovative way.
Janet Cardiff was born in Brussels, Ontario, in 1957 and lives and works in Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. She and artist George Bures Miller currently represent Canada at the 2001 Venice Biennial, where they were awarded a prize for The Paradise Institute (2001). Cardiff has created site-specific audio and video works for a number of group exhibitions, such as NowHere, Louisiana Museum, Humlebaek, Denmark (1996); Skulptur Projekte, Münster (1997); São Paolo Biennial (1998); La Ville, le Jardin, la Memoire, Villa Medici, Rome (1998); The Carnegie International, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (1999); The Museum as Muse, MoMA, New York; and 010101, SFMoMA, San Francisco (2001), among others. In 1999, Cardiff was also commissioned by Artangel to create a walk in London, titled The Missing Voice (Case Study B).
This exhibition will tour to the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal and the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome. A comprehensive monograph on Cardiff's work is being published by P.S.1 on the occasion of this exhibition. It contains a survey essay by Christov-Bakargiev, focused chapters on individual works, black-and-white and color images of works, and scripts. The catalogue also includes a detailed chronology with an ample anthology of critical essays by an array of international authors, as well as a complete bibliography.
This exhibition and catalogue are made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, the Canadian Consulate, The Canada Council for the Arts, The James Family Foundation, and B.Z. and Michael Schwartz.
Special thanks also to Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, and Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin.