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EDITOR'S PICK: JANET CARDIFF'S THE FORTY PART MOTET AT THE CLOISTERS

 

By Culturekiosque Staff

NEW YORK, 7 SEPTEMBER 2013The Forty Part Motet (2001), a sound installation by Janet Cardiff (Canadian, born 1957), will be the first presentation of contemporary art at The Cloisters, the medieval wing of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in Fort Tryon Park in upper Manhattan. Regarded as the artist's masterwork, and consisting of forty high-fidelity speakers positioned on stands in a large oval configuration throughout the Fuentidueña Chapel, the fourteen-minute work, with a three-minute spoken prologue, will continuously play an eleven-minute reworking of the forty-part motet Spem in alium numquam habui (1556?/1573?) by Tudor composer Thomas Tallis (ca. 1505–1585). Spem in alium, which translates as "In No Other Is My Hope," is perhaps Tallis's most famous composition. Ms. Cardiff's sound installation opens on 10 September and can be heard until 8 December 2013.


Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet (2001)
Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters museum and gardens
Image: The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wilson Santiago

The Forty Part Motet is most often presented in a neutral setting, but in this case the setting is the Cloisters' Fuentidueña Chapel, which features the late twelfth-century apse from the church of San Martín at Fuentidueña, near Segovia, Spain, on permanent loan from the Spanish Government.

Set within a churchlike gallery space, and with superb acoustics, it has for more than 50 years proved to be a fine venue for concerts of early music.


Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet (2001)
Fuentidueña Chapel at The Cloisters museum and gardens
Image: The Metropolitan Museum of Art/Wilson Santiago

Installation artist Janet Cardiff has exhibited extensively around the world, and her work is represented in major public and private collections in the United States and abroad. She first gained international recognition for her audio walk pieces in 1995, and she works in collaboration with her partner George Bures Miller. Cardiff and Miller live and work in British Columbia, Canada.

Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet
10 September – 8 December 2013

Fuentidueña Chapel
The Cloisters Museum and Gardens

99 Margaret Corbin Drive
New York, NY
www.metmuseum.org

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