Janet Cardiff at the Art Gallery of Ontario (317 Dundas West), to August 31. 416-977-0414. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
also riding the cardiff-in-venicewave, the Art Gallery of Ontario has pulled Janet Cardiff's 1991 The Whispering Room out of storage and mounted the 19 tiny tripod-mounted speakers and video loop among the Contemporary Canadian offerings from the permanent collection.A little girl in red dances on the short videotape loop while voices whisper a dozen or more snippets of text simultaneously (at any moment some speakers remain silent). It's an early exploration of the audio-and-visual-triggered memory strategy that Cardiff has since refined into her groundbreaking audio walks (see above).
Evocative, yes, and powerful, but knowing what came later, a concept in transition.