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"Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller: The House Of Books Has No Windows"
2008-07-31 until 2008-09-28
Fruitmarket Gallery
Edinburgh, , UK United Kingdom

From July 31 through September 28, 2008 at Fruitmarket Gallery offers a rare chance to experience the work of one of the most internationally respected artist partnerships, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Cardiff/Millerís 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 culturein 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 artistsí 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. OOppeerraa ffoorr aa SSmmaallll RRoooomm(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. TThhee KKiilllliinngg MMaacchhiinnee(2007) is a darker, bleaker piece, a robotic machine inspired partly by the artistsí hatred of the American system of capital punishment, and partly by Franz Kafkaís chilling short story In The Penal Colony.

Cardiff/Millerís 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 itís audiences. The Killing Machine, 2007


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