This is a guest post from Daniel Yáñez González-Irún
Janet Cardiff’s installation The Murder of Crows (2008) consists of ninety-eight speakers, chairs, stands, and a gramophone horn. The artist explores the idea of creating sculptural and physical sounds whilst mirroring the illogical but interconnected affinities experienced in dreams. A central theme for the piece is Goya’s “Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters”. At the centre of The Crows there is one element that echoes Goya’s etching: a small desk with a megaphone speaker lying on its side. Cardiff’s voice comes out of the speaker occasionally, reciting accounts of shocking dreams. All that is combined with other recorded sounds such as machinery, Gregorian chants, military songs, and the caws and wing flaps of a murder of crows. The sounds and music in Cardiff’s installation act like the owls and bats surrounding the sleeping man in Goya’s etching: the artist’s voice, like Goya’s dreamer, cannot escape from her apocalyptic dreams.
Photo courtesy of Cardiffmiller.com
Youtube video courtesy of Buresmiller