Wednesday April 10, 2013
Tags for: Cleveland Museum of Art Presents Janet Cardiff's Forty-Part Motet
  • Press Release

Cleveland Museum of Art Presents Janet Cardiff's Forty-Part Motet

exterior of the CMA building

Considered to be the artist's masterpiece, the sound sculpture will be installed in the museum's historic 1916 building

CLEVELAND (April 10, 2013) —Forty-Part Motet, a work showcasing Janet Cardiff’s pioneering approach to sound and multimedia installation, consists of a recording of Spem in Alium, a 16th-century sacred choral motet, broadcast from 40 high-fidelity loudspeakers. The motet, by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis (ca. 1505–1585), features England’s Salisbury Cathedral Choir along with other professional singers and was recorded in 2000. Loudspeakers mounted on stands will be displayed in a circle around the museum’s Italian Baroque gallery, allowing visitors to listen to the individually recorded voices as well as experience the immersive environment of the combined vocals, an effect that is both approachable and haunting. Played on a continuous loop, the 14-minute work consists of a three-minute vocal warm-up and an 11-minute recording of the motet. Forty-Part Motet will be presented May 4 through June 9, 2013, and is from the collection of the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

“Janet Cardiff is one of the most innovative artists working today. Only few have influenced the notion of what sculpture can be and mean in such deep ways,” stated Reto Thüring, associate curator of contemporary art at the Cleveland Museum of Art. “Despite the immaterial nature of Forty-Part Motet, the work has an incredible force and emotional weight.”

Forty-Part Motet is presented in conjunction with an installation by Cardiff at neighboring MOCA Cleveland. There, The Paradise Institute by Cardiff and George Bures Miller immerses visitors in a simulated cinematic environment, triggering emotional and physical reactions. The exhibition at MOCA Cleveland is on view through June 9, 2013.

About Janet Cardiff

Cardiff, a sound installation and multimedia artist, was born in 1957 in Brussels, Ontario. Educated at Queen’s University (BFA, 1980) and at the University of Alberta (MVA, 1983), Cardiff’s installations and walking pieces are often audio-based. Cardiff’s solo work has appeared in many museums like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Tate Modern, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden and the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa.

In addition, she works in collaboration with her husband, George Bures Miller. Cardiff and Miller represented Canada at the 49th Venice Biennale with Paradise Institute (2001).They won La Biennale di Venezia Special Award, the first Canadian artists to receive the award as well as the Benesse Prize, an honor recognizing artists who break new ground. Together, they have recently exhibited at the Art Gallery of Alberta (2010), Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh, Scotland (2008) and the Miami Art Museum (2007). Presently, they are the subject of a retrospective at the Art Gallery of Ontario (Toronto). Cardiff and Miller live and work in Berlin and British Columbia.

Related Program

Janet Cardiff
Sunday, May 5, 2 p.m. Gartner Auditorium
The Cleveland Museum of Art and MOCA Cleveland proudly present Janet Cardiff in a talk at the CMA. Working solo and in collaboration with her husband George Bures Miller, Cardiff creates audio works and multimedia installations that challenge perception by generating unexpected sensorial experiences. Cardiff’s sensitive yet experimental approach to art-making has garnered international acclaim. The Paradise Institute, currently on view at MOCA, won the Venice Biennale Special Prize when it was unveiled in 2001. Forty-Part Motet (2001), a 40-speaker sound work on view in the Cleveland Museum of Art’s Reid Gallery from May 4–June 9, is an example of Cardiff’s pioneering approach to audio-based installations. Don't miss this rare opportunity to join the artist in person as she discusses her work.

Reserve your ticket online or by calling the Ticket Center at (216) 421-7350. $10 CMA & MOCA Members / $15 Non-members

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261