The Forty Part Motet, by Janet Cardiff
A Re-working of Spem in Alium Nunquam Habui 1573, by Thomas Tallis
June 28–September 7, 2008
World-renowned sound artist Janet Cardiff created this sound installation based on Spem in Alium by the English composer Thomas Tallis. Written for a forty-voice choir in 1573, Spem in Alium is one of the most intricate and beautiful compositions of the English Renaissance. In Cardiff’s installation, eight groups of five speakers arranged in a large oval allow visitors to experience the choral composition from the vantage of individual performers.
Cardiff received the Millennium Prize in 2001 for international excellence in contemporary art from the National Gallery of Canada, and Artforum magazine featured the work in the “Best of 2003” issue. Editions of the Forty Part Motet are included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; and it is a promised gift from the Pamela and Richard Kramlich collection to the Tate, London. This exhibition was Cardiff’s first solo exhibition in the Pacific Northwest.
The Forty Part Motet by Janet Cardiff was originally produced by Field Art Projects with the Arts Council of England, Canada House, the Salisbury Festival and Salisbury Cathedral Choir, BALTIC Gateshead, The New Art Gallery, Walsall, and the NOW Festival, Nottingham. Sung by Salisbury Cathedral Choir. Recording and Postproduction by SoundMoves. Edited by George Bures Miller. Produced by Field Art Projects.