Michael Snow
Clothed Woman (In Memory of my Father) 1963
oil and lucite on canvas
152 x 386.2 cm
Purchased 1966
National Gallery of Canada

By popular demand, Forty-Part Motet will spend the summer at the National Gallery of Canada

Ottawa, Canada - May 18, 2001


 « À la demande générale, le Motet pour quarante voix passera l'été au Musée des beaux-arts du Canada » 
The critically acclaimed Forty-Part Motet, by Janet Cardiff, Canadian artist and popular winner of the Millennium Prize, will be spending the summer at the National Gallery. Forty-Part Motet is a sculpturally-conceived sound piece of forty separately-recorded choir voices that are played back through forty speakers positioned around the National Gallery's Rideau Chapel.

Forty Part Motet (2001) is a reworking of "Spem in Alium" by Thomas Tallis, a 16th-century English composer. "Most people experience this piece now in their living rooms in front of only two speakers," says Janet Cardiff. "Even in a live concert the audience is separated from the individual voices. Only the performers are able to hear the person standing next to them singing a different harmony. I wanted to be able to climb inside the music. I am also interested in how the audience may choose a path through this physical yet virtual space."

Janet Cardiff was born in 1957 in Brussels, Ontario, and currently lives and works in Lethbridge, Alberta. She is a graduate of Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario, and received her M.V.A. from the University of Alberta in Edmonton. Her audio-based installations and walking pieces have been presented in major international exhibitions and biennials, including NowHere at the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebaek. Ms Cardiff is also representing Canada at the Venice Biennale this summer.

Elusive Paradise - The Millennium Prize Exhibition Catalogue
The fully illustrated exhibition catalogue, in separate French and English versions, with essays by Diana Nemiroff, Curator of Modern Art at the National Gallery of Canada, and guest author Johanne Sloan, is available in the National Gallery of Canada's Bookstore. The catalogue will include a statement from the jury about Janet Cardiff's award-winning work.

Forty-Part Motet is on view all summer. The Gallery is open every day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Thursdays until 8:00 p.m. (Note: The Concerts aux Beaux-Arts series presented by Radio-Canada 102.5 FM will take place in the Rideau Chapel. Janet Cardiff's piece will not be accessible on certain days.)

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