Janet Cardiff (Canadian, born 1957--) Whispering Room, 1991 multimedia installation, 16 audio speakers mounted on metal stands, 16 audio sources, film projection © 2001 Janet Cardiff Purchased with the financial support of The Canada Council for the Arts Acquisition Assistance Program and with the assistance of the E. Wallace Fund, 1998.
Whispering Room: Janet Cardiff
Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are known for their provocative -- and sometimes disturbing -- multimedia pieces that combine sculpture, cinema, sound installation and short-story fiction. Whispering Room (1991) – an early solo work by Cardiff – is a now-iconic installation that demands intense audience engagement. To experience the work, visitors pass through a doorway into a dark room in which 16 audio speakers play different, segmented parts of a narrative that must be pieced together as they move throughout the space. At intervals, triggered by a visitor’s movements, an image is projected onto the wall. The murmur of the voices gives the work with a dream-like quality that is reinforced by the slowed-down speed of the film.
The AGO's presentation of this rarely viewed work coincides with the artists' new installation, Ship O' Fools, a specially commissioned work for Luminato 2010.