Hamburger Bahnhof

Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller

14 Mar - 17 May 2009

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, The Murder of Crows, Sydney Biennale 2008
The Murder of Crows
14 March - 17 May 2009

With their new, major audio installation entitled ‘The Murder of Crows', the two Canadian visual artists, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller, continue their investigation into the sculptural and physical formation of sound by means of various control systems which they have jointly pursued since the mid nineteen-nineties. Their new work will see a total of 98 speakers being set up in the exhibition space. The various sounds emanating from the speakers of voices, instruments and sonic environments, which are created by a special stereophonic recording and playback system, give rise to a composition which constitutes a direct, physical response to the listener. The installation has been conceived of as a film or a play, albeit one consisting solely of images and narrative structures created by sounds. The piece has a duration of thirty minutes and works with music, sound effects and dialogues.

The installation's title, ‘The Murder of Crows', refers to the traditional term for a flock of crows and the uncanny event known as a ‘crow funeral', in which many other crows gather together upon the death of one of their number and chant a lament for the dead, sometimes for periods of more than 24 hours. Further to this, another core reference point is provided in the form of Francisco de Goya's etching, ‘The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters', from his ‘Caprichos' series of 1799. The political dimension of both of these reference points subsequently lays the thematic groundwork for the installation.

The exhibition of ‘The Murder of Crows' in the spring of 2009 in the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin will take place as part of the series of events entitled ‘Musical Works by Visual Artists', which has been held in the Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart - Berlin since 1999 by the Freunde Guter Musik Berlin in conjunction with the National Gallery as well as with several other partners.

Tags: Janet Cardiff, Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller