work depends on the active participation of the viewer /participant for
its full realization. The voice of the artist and scenes taped in the
library are layered onto the visitorís actual experience of moving
through the physical environment of the library. Cardiff confounds our
sensory perception and consequently our ability to perceive reality. The
experiential nature of her work allows a more direct connection with the
artwork than is typical in a museum. In selecting the library as the
location of her work, Cardiff explores our relationship to books, another
medium through which our imagination can be transported through time and
place in the pursuit of alternative realities.
In Real Time is a participatory work in which visitors walk through spaces in the Carnegie Library guided by an audio and visual narrative presented on a hand-held video camera and through headphones. Visitors are required to leave a credit card or driverís license in exchange for borrowing the equipment. Children must be accompanied by an adult. The walking route includes two sets of stairs. Walks may not be started later than 15 minutes before museum closing time.
Janet Cardiff, In Real Time, 1999, site specific audio and video walk, approximately 15 minutes
Janet Cardiff responds to questions in the Artists of the Week section of this site.
Janet Cardiff’s audio-based installations have been presented in major international exhibitions and biennials, including NowHere, Louisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebæk (1996); Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997, Westfälisches Landesmuseum (1997); La Ville, le Jardin, la Mémoire—1998, 2000, 1999, Académie de France, Villa Medici, Rome, XXIV Bienal de São Paulo, and Wanås ’98, Knislinge (1998); and 6th International Istanbul Biennial (1999). Additionally, Cardiff has participated in such important museum shows as Present Tense: Nine Artists in the Nineties, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, California, and Ear as Eye, Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions (1997); Voices, Witte de With, Rotterdam, Miro Foundation, Barcelona, and Le Fresnoy, Tourcoing (1998); and The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect, Museum of Modern Art, New York (1999). Solo exhibitions of her work have been presented since 1987, including shows at Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta (1993); Power Plant Art Gallery, Toronto, and Randolph Street Gallery, Chicago (1994); Raum Aktueller Kunst, Vienna, Galerie Barbara Weiss, Berlin, and Morris-Healy Gallery, New York (1997); and an Artangel project at White- chapel Library, London, and Kunstraum München, Munich (1998). In 1991 Cardiff was Artist in Residence at the Banff Centre for the Arts, Alberta.
1983 University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, M.V.A.
Selected Further Reading
Académie de France, Villa Medici, Rome. Janet Cardiff, Villa Medici Walk (1998). Exhibition brochure, texts by Sylvie Fortin and John Weber.
Westfälisches Landesmuseum, Münster, Germany. Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997 (1997). Exhibition catalogue, with “Walk Münster” by Janet Cardiff.
Drobnick, Jim. “Mock Excursions and Twisted Itineraries: Tour Guide Performances.” Parachute 80 (October/December 1995): 31–37.
Edmonton Art Gallery, Alberta, Canada. To Touch: An Installation by Janet Cardiff (1993). Exhibition brochure, text by Kitty Scott.