Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
Luhring Augustine Gallery, New York, NY
Gallery Koyanagi, Tokyo, Japan
Husband-and-wife duo Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller create beguiling installations, art objects, and “walks,” audio recordings meant to guide viewers on short journeys through landscapes. The two began collaborating in 1983, and as is indicated by their walks, the couple's work often activates space through innovative interactions of sound and movement. The two first achieved international recognition for their walks in 1995, a medium Cardiff had been experimenting with beginning in 1991 and that in her words, “changed my thinking about art.”
For a major 2001 survey show at MoMA P.S. 1 in New York, Cardiff and Miller created a recording approximately ten minutes in length that must be listened to while walking through the museum. As is typical of their walks, it included instructions like, Now go behind the stairs. Here it is. This is the place. Sit down and wait … Close your eyes. The two have also collaborated on walks at events and locales such as dOCUMENTA (13), the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington D.C., and, in New York, Central Park and the Museum of Modern Art.
The artists' work with objects similarly tests the limits of sound and audience participation—they have created old-fashioned phones that when picked up play descriptions of dreams, for example—and are also celebrated for their immersive multimedia installations. Cardiff was born in Brussels, Ontario in 1957, while Miller was born Vegreville, Alberta in 1960. Cardiff received a BFA from Queen's University at Kingston in 1980, and then in 1983, she earned her MVA at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, where she met Miller.