Walk Münster

Janet Cardiff

Walk Münster ,
Co-workers & Funding
Walk Münster, Park I
Location: Münster inner city

The artist has created for the exhibition visitor an individual Walkman-tour through the inner city of Münster, wherein she draws from the didactic form of guided audio tours. Instead of a factual tour through the "Sculpture. Projects in Münster 1997," or a history of Münster, the listener hears voices and sounds that are partially connected in some way to each separate environment: for instance, the twittering of birds, pealing of bells, and street noise. These environmental sounds are supplemented by narrative elements, such as reports and thoughts about local settings, as well as crime stories and other fictional elements. While walking through the city, a variety of moods, feelings, and assocations with locations and conjectured events are called to mind. Due to the high quality of the digital recording, the acoustic impression is especially realistic, and the discrepance between reality and recording is only clearly perceived through the pauses during the recording. During the tour, distinct footsteps and breathing are mixed with the sound of the listener's own movement, allowing the visitor to slip by unnoticed in the role of another person. In this way, the artist connects real and ficticious experiences, enabling the listener to perceive his/her environment in another way.

Especially important to Janet Cardiff are aspects of control and surveillance, which should impress themselves upon the exhibtion visitor from the time s/he first receives the cassette player in the Museum. For this reason, a monitor next to a video surveillance camera is installed in the entrance area, so that persons can be observed during their walk through the city.

Walk Münster, Part 2
Location: Old wing of the Landesmuseum; window overlooking the Domplatz, 2nd floor.

The artist has installed a specially prepared telescope in front of a window on the 2nd floor of the museum building. The telescope, which, from its outer appearance reminds one of an object from the '40s or '50s, is trained upon the Domplatz. However, the exhibition visitor will not view the actual scene occurring outside, but instead will see a video of about one minutes' duration, taken from exactly the same viewpoint. In order to heighten the impression of being observed, the telescope, which is powered by a motor, follows the movement of the people on the Domplatz (in the video). When the visitor first looks through the telescope, s/he will establish right away that s/he is not viewing an actual incident, but instead, gets the illusion that an actual event is occurring. In this way, the stationary installation in the Museum becomes a visual counterpart to the acoustically-led walk through Münster. (source: http://www.artthing.de/skulptur/97/cardif/i.htm)
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