Artist of Week 7: Janet Cardiff


Janet Cardiff was born on March 15, 1957, and is a Canadian artist who works mainly with sound and sound installations.  She usually uses a form called audio walks, which she works in collaboration with her husband and partner George Bures Miller.  Janet Cardiff first gained international recognition in the art world for her art walks in 1995.  Cardiff and Miller currently live and work in Berlin.

An audio walk provides a previous recorded spoken commentary, usually through a handheld device, and usually to a visitor attraction to a train station or museum.  On Slack, we saw a video called “Alter Bahnof Video Walk”, which is one of Cardiff’s works in which a person walks in a train station holding a smartphone and listening to her voice as she gives him/her instructions.  I was really fascinated how beautiful it was.  Some of her most famous works include The Whispering Room, Her Long Black Hair, and Words Drawn in Water.

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In the video on Slack, it showed a train station in the present and the past on a smartphone.  She gives a bunch of insight and tells the person to look, listen, and walk to different areas.  You can sense the past and the present, and also the history and the things that have happened in the exact places where you stand.
In my opinion, Janet Cardiff is the most fascinating artist of the week we have had the whole summer.  She goes into deep details about things that aren’t happening at the present moment, and that makes it even more fascinating.  Her work is definitely something new and different from other artists.  I think that I would enjoy taking one of her walks in person.


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