JANET CARDIFF and GEORGE BURES MILLER The Murder of Crows

THE PARK AVENUE ARMORY | AUGUST 3 – SEPTEMBER 9, 2012

The history of the drill hall carries its own weight. The history of the unconscious similarly traces a lineage of effects waged by war: community, a sense of connection forged in darkness, the flicker of nightmare and equal parts light, at times visual and at others purely aural, haunting, familiar, elusive, as if existing just beyond the boundaries of the physical world.

Installation view of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s “The Murder of Crows” at Park Avenue Armory. Photo: James Ewing.

A void.

Having traversed a field of 98 black, two-foot-by-twelve-inch speakers—auditory soldiers poised on simple folding chairs, extending from steel rods secured to the massive expanse of the armory floor, or suspended from black cables anchored in the vaulted ceiling—I pause on one of the folding chairs, reserved for the audience in a semi-circular formation, and close my eyes.

industrial clamor
footsteps
a fan overhead
dripping water
voices

the recounting of a nightmare: a factory
blood, death

marching in step
visions of postwar Europe
building anxiety
I open my eyes.

grey,
bleak

The operatic score draws me back in.
I think of my visit to Auschwitz as a young girl.

interior
voices again
exterior

another nightmare: this time a foreign landscape
slaves, chains
a general
an army

the drill hall
a cathedral
religion/theater
mind control

a third nightmare: a beach, a house
coastal scenes
mist
crashing surf

360 degrees
voices
denouement, a lullaby

crows, caws, crows

Silence.

the power of oratory
the power of technology
the power of mind



643 Park Avenue // NY, NY

Contributor

Kara L. Rooney

Kara Rooney is a Brooklyn-based artist, writer, and critic working in performance, sculptures and new media installation. She is a Managing Art Editor for the Brooklyn Rail and faculty member at School of Visual Arts, where she teaches Art History and Aesthetics.

ADVERTISEMENTS