Janet Cardiff Her Long Black Hair Public Art Fund July 2004
"When you’re in a city like New York you have to think of all the sounds like a symphony or else you go a bit crazy," warns Janet Cardiff at the beginning of her latest audio walk, "Her Long Black Hair," taking place this summer in Central Park. The hour and a half journey, commissioned by the Public Art Fund, takes you through the southern quadrant of the park. As you are guided by Cardiff’s soothing voice, she recalls memories and makes observations accompanied by recordings of ambient sounds that fool your senses, snippets of opera, slave narratives, and poetry. This complex soundtrack for the real life sights and noises of the park makes every persons journey a unique and synchronistic experience.
Every walker takes with them a pouch containing a Discman and headphones as well as a collection of numbered photographs, which you are instructed at certain points to pull out and compare to the scene in front of you. Each photograph, ranging in age from last winter to almost a century ago, corresponds in place but not time to your view. This discrepancy pushes you into a middle ground between the photograph and yourself, allowing you to be a spectator looking at time as a whole. From this vantage point it is clear how unfair the rigid, linear experience of events is that allows only for a past and present and nothing in between. "Her Long Black Hair" fills this in-between space through a constant slippage between the two.
In The Painter of Modern Life, Baudelaire wrote "for the perfect Flaneur it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world." The form of "Her Long Black Hair" is taken from Baudelaire’s idea of the Flaneur and its title from a description of his mistress. Cardiff puts you in a slightly different position than the Flaneur—not only soaking up the sounds and sights of the city, but also questioning the nature of experience and perception itself.
The true power of this piece becomes clear after the audio ends and you are left to your own devices in the middle of the park. On the walk back you hear all the sounds as a symphony, because you feel a little bit crazy. You are comfortable in the space that the conception of linear time prohibits us from existing in, of being neither here nor there, at home everywhere and no where at home.
After the summer of smoke and fireBy Enos Nyamor
NOV 2021 | ArtSeen
A spotlight pours yellow rays on an upright Mellotron encircled by socially distanced chairs, all wrapped in a dome of controlled darkness. An arresting silence lingers, occasionally broken as gallery guests hesitantly part the velvet curtain, enter the space, and interact with the organ. The Instrument of Troubled Dreams, 2018, is the acutely engaging centerpiece in Janet Cardiff and George Buress Millers After the summer of smoke and fire on view at Luhring Augustine gallery in Chelsea, which documents a selection of recent productions by the British-Columbia-based duo who have been collaborating since 1995.
Histories of Place, Architecture, and Underrepresented Communities: For a Complete CityBy Elisa Silva
SEPT 2021 | Critics Page
Enlace Arquitectura, the architectural firm I established in Venezuela in 2007, was invited to be part of the 17th International Architecture Exhibition at the Biennale di Venezia, curated by the Lebanese architect and dean of the MIT Faculty of Architecture, Hashim Sarkis, which examines the question How will we live together? The installation is part of the segment dedicated to emerging communities at Le Corderie of the Arsenale.
“A Totally Integrated Club Scene”: New York, New Music: 1980–1986 at the Museum of the City of New YorkBy Matthew Pessar Joseph
OCT 2021 | Music
Now, 1980s music has become anything but underground. Perhaps spurred by the cost of once artistically vibrant downtown neighborhoods like the East Village and SoHo, nostalgia for the decade has reached new heights.
Cotton Candy in Grandmas HairBy Viviane A. Pistache
FEB 2021 | Critics Page
Dressed in a white coat, with blue eyes and authority the so-called Doctor certified: the woman had a Grandma the Portuguese would round up by lasso, the savage cabocla, a real bugre.