Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. The Paradise Institute

Organized and toured by the National Gallery of Canada

Artists: Janet Cardiff, George Bures Miller

May 5, 2006 - June 17, 2006

Opening: May 4, 2006, 5:30 pm

The Galerie de l’UQAM will conclude its 2005-2006 programming with the exhibition The Paradise Institute, a multimedia installation created by Janet Cardiff in collaboration with George Bures Miller. This exhibition, which has received international recognition at the 2001 Venice Biennale and was awarded one of the jury’s Special Prizes, has been organized and circulated by the National Gallery of Canada. The presentation of the exhibition at the Galerie de l’UQAM has received funding from the Canada Council for the Arts.

Over the past fifteen years, Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller have created, separately and together, sound pieces and visual installations of increasing sophistication that change the way we relate to our immediate surroundings. Their characteristic, disturbing manipulations of reality in personalized spaces are rapidly earning these two artists a significant reputation both in and outside the arts community.

The multimedia, cinematic experience of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s The Paradise Institute alters our understanding of a familiar experience – the movies. Because movies must be accessible to a wide audience, they are not overly personal or poetic. The Paradise Institute eliminates this distancing by inviting visitors into the balcony seats of a “movie theatre”. Wearing headphones, viewers watch a turbulent 13 minute film, with rapidly changing images and a vaguely threatening plot. The binaural sound is punctuated with interruptions from the “audience”.

Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller have created a highly charged atmosphere that immerses the viewer in a reality not quite separated from that which we believe we live in – a space between two states of consciousness that we usually do not distinguish until we are suddenly jolted awake.

Ultimately, the genius of The Paradise Institute lies in the continual opposition of the artifice of the cinema experience and personal perceptions, and the fleeting revelations of reality.