Janet Cardiff

The Forty Part Motet

June 8–September 15, 2019

Canadian artist Janet Cardiff’s acclaimed 2001 sound installation, The Forty Part Motet, deconstructs Thomas Tallis’s sixteenth-century choral work Spem in alium (Hope in any other) by assigning each of the forty voices to a single freestanding speaker in the gallery. Visitors can weave their way through this ring of speakers, coming in close to hear an individual singer’s voice—and even breath—or standing in the center to be struck by the polyphonic force of the whole.

Janet Cardiff: The Forty Part Motet features the voices of the Salisbury Cathedral Choir. It was recorded and postproduced by SoundMoves, edited by George Bures Miller, and produced by Field Art Projects. The Forty Part Motet is lent generously by the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa. Significant support is provided by Sylvia and Leonard Marx.